Story by Joseph Ford CottoJoseph Ford Cotto: A few years ago, certain political forecasters claimed that the future of America's center-right belongs to libertarians. Since the 2012 presidential election, protectionism has surged in both major parties. Now, in the age of Trump, libertarianism's once-ascendant nature seems a distant memory. Would you say that libertarian Republican politics have any serious potential under Trump?
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.
Wayne Allyn Root: I was on the Libertarian Presidential ticket. But I’m a Trump Republican now. There’s your answer. Libertarianism does not sell. Politics is 100% sales, marketing and promotion. Libertarianism is an idea. It shouldn't be a political party.
If by “Libertarianism” you mean smaller government, more limited government, lower taxes, and more power to the people- then sure, that idea will be at the base of saving America. It’s the base of President Trump’s agenda. It will always be the base of my agenda. But I give it a different name- like Trump, my "Wayne Allyn Root brand" is a mixture of conservatism, populism and nationalism (always America first), with a dash of Libertarianism.
Cotto: The Donald Trump Administration promises many changes to federal politics. Do you believe that his economic proposals, generally speaking, will bring typical Americans higher wages?
Root: Yes. I was the first national commentator to say “TRUMP IS OUR REAGAN.” Reagan’s low taxes and regulations produced the greatest turnaround…the greatest expansion…and the longest peacetime expansion in world history. Not in America's history, in world history! Everyone benefited- white, black, men, women, Republicans, Democrats, business owners, employees. Everyone wins with lower taxes, fewer regulations, smaller government. Trump will produce the same results with low taxes and less regulation…and for God’s sake please kill Obamacare!