What does it mean to be a libertarian nowadays?
There is no shortage of philosophical diversity among people who describe themselves as such, which is hardly surprising since libertarianism is not a belief system for those congenial to group-think. Nonetheless, when devout family values-oriented Christians and atheist gay pride marchers both claim the same label, it is understandable that many folks are left scratching their heads.
Few individuals have so much experience with both libertarianism as an idea structure and Libertarian partisan politics as Wayne Allyn Root. He is an author, talk radio host, entrepreneur, and, generally speaking, observer of the human animal. In 2008, he was the Libertarian Party's vice presidential nominee.
It can be argued that no other second-placeholder on the Libertarian ticket has ever done as much to publicize his party and its ideals as Root did. During Barack Obama's presidency, Root took voiced limited government concerns with gusto and ultimately decided that the Libertarian banner was not making a serious difference in American political life.
While supporting Mitt Romney and -- on an enthusiastic level -- Donald Trump, Root retained his libertarian values.
In a 2012 statement, which made clear his vacating Libertarian Party affairs, Root said he entered them as "a S.O.B. (son of a butcher), small businessman, home-school dad, Las Vegas oddsmaker, and political newcomer". Now, Root's recently published Angry White Male: How the Donald Trump Phenomenon is Changing America -- and What We Can All Do to Save the Middle Class has attained bestseller status.
Agree or disagree with his brand of 'Ronald Reagan libertarianism,' Root certainly has made a success of it.
He spoke with me about many issues pertaining to libertarianism and its role in American society. Some of our discussion is available below.
Joseph Ford Cotto: Prominent economists and politicians often say that free trade will benefit America in the long run. Many Americans disagree strongly. What is your take on this situation?
Wayne Allyn Root: I’m ALWAYS for free and fair trade. But just because something is named “free trade” doesn't make it either “free” or “fair.” It could just be a bad deal given a fake name to deceive us. That’s what these so-called “free trade” agreements are. They have nothing to do with true free trade. They are all poorly negotiated and falsely named. They are set up to screw America, American workers and the great American middle class. That's why I wrote the book"Angry White Male."
We have every right to be angry. We are getting the short end of the stick, while politicians who give away our country and our jobs, get $1 million per year lobbying jobs, $100,000 speaking fees, million dollar book deals and billion dollar "donations" to "The Clinton Foundation." Follow the "Money Trail." This is how and why we are being screwed. Sell the American people down the river and you (the politician and their children) are set for life.
Cotto: Since it went into effect during late 1995, the North American Free Trade Agreement has formed a trilateral commerce bloc between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. From your research, has this proven to be of benefit to our country?
Root: I wrote not only "Angry White Male" but also a national bestseller called "The Murder of the Middle Class." I supported Donald Trump because the middle class has been murdered by politicians of both parties. So-called “free trade” agreements have slaughtered American jobs- along with liberal ideas of big taxes, big regulations, big unions and national health care. A combination of liberals, big government and so-called “free trade” has destroyed the famous American Dream. There are no high quality jobs being created in America for middle class people. There are only low class low wage crap jobs.
We needed a change. Donald Trump- like me- is a businessman and anti-politician who stands up for America first and the great American middle class.
Will we get rid of NAFTA? I think more likely Trump will negotiate a much better deal for the American people. These so-called “free trade” deals are simply poorly negotiated deals by either ignorant politicians who know nothing about business, or criminals intent on giving away our country in return for bribes. With Trump and his cabinet of billionaire businessmen, now we have adults and smart guys in charge!