Principled Libertarian Pledges to Support Authoritarian Strongman in November

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Give me liberty, or give me Trump.

Rand Paul is a libertarian who believes we must never sacrifice the integrity of the Constitution to any competing interest, no matter how compelling, because that sacred document “protects the rights of all individuals” — unless, of course, sacrificing the Constitution would help prop up his home state’s planet-destroying industry.

On Friday, Paul told the Cincinnati Enquirer that if Donald Trump wins the GOP nomination, he would vote for the would-be authoritarian strongman in November. “I think we never get the candidate we exactly want unless you’re the candidate,” Paul told the paper. “Think about it from this perspective: I’m from Kentucky, and Hillary Clinton recently said she would put coal miners out of business, and she would put coal companies out of business.”

If America needs to accept 13,000 gun deaths each year in order to protect the Constitution, that’s a price we must pay. And if Rand Paul needs to support Donald Trump — a candidate who has pledged to shut down any part of the internet that contains dangerous speech, limit criticism of public figures via patently unconstitutional libel reforms, deport those suspected of being undocumented immigrants without due process, employ the “wonderful” tool of eminent domain for private development projects, and ban people from entering the country on the basis of their religion — in order to uphold the coal industry’s right to externalize the costs of burning carbon, that’s a price that Paul must pay. It’s the libertarian thing to do.

Back in January, Paul called Trump a “disaster for the Republican Party” who would set the conservative cause “back a generation.” Earlier this week, Ted Cruz and John Kasich refused to pledge their support to the Donald, should he win the party’s nod.