"They weren't voting for libertarian ideas—they were voting for the craziest son of a bitch in the race."
How does a voter go from supporting a relatively libertarian Republican to enthusiastically backing Donald Trump? Thomas Massie, a Kentucky congressman widely seen as one of the House's more libertarian members, offers a theory to the Washington Examiner:
"I went to Iowa twice and came back with [Ron Paul]. I was with him at every event for the last three days in Iowa," Massie said. "From what I observed, not just in Iowa but also in Kentucky, up close with individuals, was that the people that voted for me in Kentucky, and the people who had voted for [Ron] Paul in Iowa several years before, were now voting for Trump. In fact, the people that voted for Rand in a primary in Kentucky were preferring Trump."
"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."
I should note that Massie himself wound up endorsing Trump over Clinton, though not exactly enthusiastically. "I think you're more likely to get change," he said last August. "I don't know if it's gonna be a good change, but you gotta break eggs to make an omelette." I suppose that's not so far from saying Trump was the craziest son of a bitch in the race.