[11/17/16] One of the most common fallacies those on both the left and the right regularly make about libertarianism is suggesting that opposing government funding of a specific product, service, or organization is the same as opposing their very existence. Just because Walter Block opposes government spending on roads doesn’t mean he wants to travel purely by blimp (no matter how stylish), just as wanting the market to provide police services isn’t the same as advocating lawless chaos.
In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney (who is obviously no Rothbardian) was ridiculed for suggesting that the government didn’t need to be funding Sesame Street, but sure enough Sesame Street was picked up by HBO when the show faced its own budgeting shortfall. The deal even allowed for the show to continue being aired free on PBS.
The outcome of last week’s election has given yet another great example of how individual actors are able to voluntarily provide funding for organizations they care about without the coercive force of government. Planned Parenthood, an organization that has long benefited both political parties as an easy issue to fundraise off of, has received around 128,000 individual donations in a week. Showing a sense of humor some had feared the left had lost, at least 20,000 donations were made in the name of Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards has called the outpouring of support “unprecedented.”
This Trump-bump for traditionally-progressive non-profits hasn’t been isolated to simply Planned Parenthood. The Washington Post reports that organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, American Civil Liberties Union, and the Anti-Defamation League have all received a significant increase in donations related to Trump’s victory.