Last month, Walter Block, a libertarian professor of economics and long-time acolyte of Ron Paul, pinched his nose and co-launched a group, Libertarians for Trump.
That would be Donald Trump — the red-tailed hawk of border security, defender of entitlements and opponent of free-trade. Not exactly a disciple of Ayn Rand, the novelist famous for "Atlas Shrugged" who has inspired many libertarians. Block's group, he freely admits, is a strenuous exercise of realpolitik — the ultimate lesser-of-evils decision. While he finds much of Trump's domestic agenda odious, Block very much likes Trump's noninterventionist foreign policy positions.
Still, Block insists his group, which he says had garnered several thousand signatories, is narrowly focused. It advocates only for Trump as the Republican nominee, and it intends to promptly disband after the primary. Then, Block said, even his vote is up for grabs. "If it was Bernie [Sanders] versus Donald, I would vote for the Libertarian [Party candidate] for sure," he told CNBC.com. "If it was Donald versus Hillary [Clinton], I would have a much harder time." In this scenario, Block said, he would have "trouble deciding" between Trump and a Libertarian.
His conundrum is not unique among his kind. Four years after its political awakening, and in the absence of an obvious rallying point, the Ron Paul coalition finds itself in a diffuse, conflicted and confused diaspora.