End the Cold War
Now that the election is over, libertarians can counsel the new president on positions and policies that they believe will create a better world. I doubt very much that counseling Hillary Clinton would have been a fruitful project had she been elected, but Donald Trump is a very different story. He has yet to translate his creative impulses and politics into hardened doctrines and policies.
A useful political approach is to articulate general positions that have sound fundamentals and then to derive practical policies from them. They won’t please everyone and they will be imperfect. The practical policies will involve compromises and side payments to overcome objections; but if they are grounded incomprehensible and sensible basic positions, then they can attract support and overcome the objections that are bound to be raised by the opponents of the policies. Trump also can’t get his way without exerting a variety of political and economic pressures upon his domestic foes. He has to be prepared to fight dirty.
A prime example is ending the Cold War once and for all. That’s a general position that makes sense and has voter appeal, more than enough to outweigh the opposing voices that want to maintain and even extend the Cold War as Cold War II. Trump cannot end the Cold War without some courage and without expending some political capital. But success will rapidly rebuild whatever capital he at first expends.
He can articulate the story in simple and understandable terms. He could even start with World War II when the U.S. and the Soviet Union were allies. He can point to the cooperation and treaties passed even when the two were Cold War antagonists. He can inform Americans that Communism is basically dead in Russia and that it lay at the basis of that antagonism, at least insofar as it involved a competition over many countries. (Communism lives on in China but in a transformed manner that requires separate consideration; that requires a separate general position.) Trump can elaborate the story to take note of NATO’s expansion, European fears and the bellicose positions of the neocons. He needs to marginalize his opponents who want the Cold War to continue as the Cold War II that it has become. He needs clever political ways to do this, of which direct appeals to the American public are but a part. He needs allies in Congress and he needs to pressure certain belligerent voices therein.
The details of how he can successfully go about this belong to Trump and his skilled political operatives. The general procedure is to make clear that America intends to end the Cold War in its newly-extended form of Cold War II because such a move is beneficial to Americans, Russians and the world’s peoples in general.
by Michael Rozeff