by Bill B. May

We posted an article today by Larry Diamond, associated with the conservative Hoover Institution, that says we must not give up our principles in fighting ISIS.  Largely the article was a slam at Donald Trump.   But let’s think about his comments a bit.

Basically, he is saying that even in war, we should uphold our basic principles which is fine except that war is different than peace.  Most of us believe that we should treat others with dignity and kindness but that hardly works in war.  The reason?  Usually others reciprocate if we treat them nicely but war is different.  Somebody started the war and to them, kindness and dignity are not very important.  To fight the war with our hands tied behind our back by relying on kindness and dignity will get us subjugated.

Our principles may say that we shouldn’t ever start a war but that does not imply peace, at any price.  When we are attacked, we must fight back.   And we have been attacked by not only ISIS but radical Islam.  Not just in the last year, but throughout America’s existence and for Europe, some 1400 years.  Radical Islam has declared war on the free world; it does not promote dignity and kindness.  We can’t fight it on our terms, we have to fight it with all our might using techniques that are outside the norms of relations with other peaceful nations.  If that means, we stop the immigration of Muslims into America, so be it.

Today, we feel for America’s Japanese citizens who were herded into camps because we couldn’t know where their sympathies laid.  I’m sure there are Muslims who are totally peaceful but again we can’t tell where their sympathies lie.  It is unfortunate in war that such is the case but everybody suffers in a war.  Americans suffer because their hard-earned tax dollars are spent fighting a movement that we would prefer not to.   But we don’t have a choice; they started it.   Libertarians like Larry Diamond want to apply the same principles in war and peace.  That won’t work.

I don’t want Donald Trump commanding our economy.  I’m a big believer in free enterprise.  Companies can’t continue to grow to an unlimited size simply because a smaller company, absent government interference, is more nimble than a big company.  So I would hope that Trump understands this in domestic policy.  But when it comes to protecting America, I think he is on the right track.   We can’t have porous borders and maintain our principles of liberty.  Too sudden of a influx of foreigners will be detrimental to our principles just like an influx of terrorists will damage America.

We can’t just tear down Trump because his principles don’t fit some idealist “open-border” philosophy.  I’ve argued before that property rights and liberty lead to controlled borders, just like you control the border to your home.  It is yours and you must protect your property, your body being the most important.

We only need government to protect our liberties.  In the last 100 years, government has evolved into something a lot more than that, unfortunately.  What would be fair is to ask Trump about how he would handle domestic issues.   Does he believe in free enterprise with government only to protect against evil in our society?  That he gave donations to politicians to protect his interests is one thing but if he used those for crony capitalism, that is quite another.  We must know his philosophy in that regard.  That’s the question Diamond should have asked.