“All this time,” Massie explained, “I thought they were voting for libertarian Republicans. But after some soul searching I realized when they voted for Rand and Ron and me in these primaries, they weren’t voting for libertarian ideas — they were voting for the craziest son of a bitch in the race. And Donald Trump won best in class, as we had up until he came along.”
Massie’s observation that libertarian-minded voters, those who devoted passionate support to Sen. Paul and his father in previous cycles, are likely more attracted to “crazy” personalities than candidates with ideological purity bears important implications for the future of that movement. Do those voters, more than anything, crave change agents over philosophical disciples?
Massie sees Trump as more of a populist than a libertarian conservative, but noted important similarities between both camps. “There are some places where populism overlaps with libertarianism and contradicts the establishment here in D.C.,” Massie said. “For instance, less proclivity to go to war, less appetite for having 20 or 30,000 troops in any one country to subsidize their defense.”
“I see overlap there,” he concluded.
Massie chalks Trump’s success in the general election up to his pledge to shake up Washington, saying, “He had the change mantle and Hillary didn’t.”