We would say that it doesn’t get much dumber than this, but the 2016 presidential race will be replete with inane articles, like this one from the failing Daily Beast.
The headline reads — get ready for it — “Is There a Libertarian Case for Bernie Sanders?”
After Paul’s dropout, “all we’ve got left are neoconservatives, social conservatives, and crony capitalists,” Terry Michael, a former DNC spokesman turned libertarian, told The Daily Beast. “I’d love to hear anyone tell me that any of the current crop of Republicans are actually libertarian on foreign policy or social issues or even many economic issues.”
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton represents the stereotypical libertarian nightmare: a relentlessly power-hungry technocrat who acts on behalf of moneyed interests and seemingly abuses power at every turn.
So that brings us to Bernie Sanders.
The self-described “democratic socialist” will coast to a primary victory Tuesday in the nation’s most libertarian-friendly state. Thus far Sanders has run the campaign that libertarian icon Ron Paul did in 2008, and one that Rand Paul should have—a campaign focused on coalescing young voters against Big Government, Big War, and Big Business.
While Sanders’s economic policies deeply conflict with libertarians—single-payer health care, government-funded college tuition for all, etc.—he is their only remaining ally on a slew of other big issues.
And, besides, “there’s this little thing called Congress,” as Michael noted. “Any radical law he tries to pass will run through an obstacle course.”
So the logic goes: With a Republican-controlled Congress—or one remotely close to its current makeup—President Sanders would have a tough time getting his most radical economic policies passed, leaving him to fight for the civil liberties causes that matter to liberals and libertarians alike: e.g., reforms to the criminal justice system, the ongoing drug war, and the government’s surveillance efforts.
Bernie’s a self-described socialist, for crying out loud, but sure, he’ll be a friend to the libertarian cause on a broader scale if elected president.
To put that ludicrous premise in perspective, it would mean that a Bernie Sanders presidency would embrace the tenet of limited government and advance the cause of freedom. (Who’s eating the paint chips at the Beast’s office, guys?)
Thankfully, many true libertarians wouldn’t actually vote for Bernie over whomever the the GOP candidate ends up being.
But the Daily Beast is trying to gin up a “fresh take,” absurd as the premise is, in a presidential race that is already oversaturated with coverage.
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