Donald Trump, Libertarians, and Politics as Professional Wrestling

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Donald Trump, Libertarians, and Politics as Professional Wrestling

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Libertarian Party had perhaps its greatest and most relevant moment on a national stage ever when they booed Donald Trump relentlessly while he gave a half-hour speech tepidly asking for their votes. The Associated Press put together a quick two-minute video of the highlights, and if you’re wondering whether this got under Trump’s skin, watch the last clip and judge for yourself.

“Keep getting your three percent every four years.”

Donny’s big mad.

This speech is glorious. I’ve never had a higher opinion of the national Libertarian Party than I do right now. This is how Donald Trump should be received everywhere he goes, and it says a lot about America that it took a group of people who make the Green Party look competent to really put Trump in his place and show him the level of disrespect he has earned.

American politics has a respectability problem, in that we give far too much respect to a group of people who have proven to be mostly unaccountable to their voters as their donors have purchased democracy for themselves. The whole notion that American politicians carry themselves with gravitas and deserve to be respected is just pure kayfabe.

Kayfabe is a professional wrestling term that applies better to politics more than professional wrestling, as it is defined as presenting a staged performance as if it were real. We have a group of people who will tell us one thing to our faces, and then behind closed doors to their donors, the truth comes out and the bills they were supposedly fighting for get watered down by the people actually in power. Politicians should only command the level of respect that they have earned, which for most of them is zero.

The libertarians have proven they get this almost more than any other engaged political constituency at this point. Just because a presidential candidate is pretending to care about you to get your vote does not mean you should go along with the charade. Booing them off-stage is the only logical reaction to this kind of cynicism.

Donald Trump destroyed the façade that American politics is some honorable stage for this country’s great men and women to lead us into the future. This notion has long been some West Wing-brained nonsense, as the history of United States politics is messy, violent and filled to the brim with power-hungry sociopaths.

Power attracts a certain kind of depravity, and waxing (or rapping) poetic about the founders’ supposed selfless vision and today’s stewards of it is no different from The Rock giving a promo about how he’s the greatest of all time. The difference is The Rock will actually respect your intelligence by trying to blend some reality with the act as he acknowledges that all of us are in on the joke.

In politics, all we get is the act sold to us as reality while reality gets downplayed or outright dismissed.

If we lived in a rational world, Trump would be far from the only politician being mercilessly booed off stage like this. Joe Biden wouldn’t be able to give a speech without being heckled out of the building over his support of Israel’s genocide of Gaza. Nearly every Congressperson would live in fear of ever giving a public speech, lest all the corruption inherent to D.C. that they have participated in be raised against them.

You really do gotta hand it to libertarians here. I have never seen a political crowd so fundamentally understand the nature of the game. Trump is putting on a kayfabe act to try to win voters he openly despises, and instead of participating in the mirage, libertarians treated Vince McMahon’s former Wrestlemania opponent to the full heel treatment he’s earned several times over.

Politicians should not be allowed to get away with kayfabe. It is beyond insulting to our intelligence that this group of people who are clearly governed by their donors pretend that giving us table scraps is transformational change. Donald Trump’s shambolic jackassery makes it easy to see through this lie, but he is far from the only one perpetuating it.

I can’t believe I’m actually writing this, but I truly do believe it after witnessing this half-hour of boo-filled greatness: we should all be more like the Libertarian Party. There is no reason to put up with transparent bullshit from politicians who could care less about us. If these politicians want to follow professional wrestling’s kayfabe lead, then we should treat them with the same respect that wrestling crowds give to heels and jeer them off the stage every time they put on their act.

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