Sunday, February 14, 2016

About that "Libertarians for Bernie Sanders" Thing

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At least once or twice a day, my Google alert for appearances of the word "libertarian" on the web notifies me that someone is making -- or at least musing about -- "a libertarian case for supporting Bernie Sanders."

I really just don't see it.

But then again, I've never bought "a libertarian case for supporting [insert Republican candidate of your choosing here]," either.

Are there some issues on which Sanders more closely approximates a libertarian policy line than the mainstream of either Washington, DC or his own party? Sure. The obvious example there is the war on drugs.

Are there some issues on which Sanders's obviously non-libertarian policy proposals are still probably better from any point of view than the existing system? Yes to that too. For example, "Single-payer" is the second dumbest idea in circulation on healthcare -- second behind the existing system, which has been nearly fully socialized for half a century, but in a crazy-quilt fashion (Medicaid for the poor, Medicare for the elderly, TriCare for the retired/disabled military, and the "socialized risk, privatized profit" HMO regime that started under Nixon) that includes all the down sides and more of single-payer without the upside of, at least, simplicity.

But for me, those things don't add up to "libertarians should support Sanders." I think libertarians should support libertarians, and Sanders isn't one.

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