Is There a Libertarian Case for Bernie Sanders?

This article is two months old, so some of its discussion of the presidential contest is a bit dated. But I tend to agree with the author’s general argument, i.e. that Sanders is actually the least state-centric of the presidential candidates (a very low standard, to be sure). All things considered, Sanders’ Vermont Liberalism Party is likely to be less authoritarian domestically and less overtly imperialist internationally than the Insane Party (Cruz), the Megalomania Party (Trump), or the Sociopath Party (Clinton).

By Andrew Kirell

The Daily Beast

With the only remotely libertarian GOP candidate out of the 2016 race, should the liberty movement start feeling the Bern?

Now that Rand Paul has exited the race, who should libertarians consider throwing their support behind? It might be the last candidate you’d ever think libertarians would support.

For liberty-loving individuals who value personal freedoms as much as economic freedoms, the pickings are slim among the remaining GOP candidates.

Marco Rubio’s combination of heavy-handed social conservatism and nostalgia for Bush-era war policy is an obvious turnoff. Donald Trump’s toxic cocktail of xenophobic populism, economic protectionism, and desire to Make War Crimes Great Again offers little for libertarians—especially the younger set who value an inclusive society.

Chris Christie is the sort of brutish big-government conservative the liberty crowd have come to loathe, especially when he name-drops “9/11” as license for an aggressive surveillance state. Ben Carson is Ben Carson, complete with bizarro right-wing opinions. John Kasich is a middling tax-and-spend bureaucrat. Jeb Bush is inextricably tied to his hawkish brother’s disastrous adventurism abroad. And Carly Fiorina and Jim Gilmore are nonentities.

Wannabe televangelist Ted Cruz, meanwhile, has tried to woo libertarians away from the Paul crowd, but, to some, he’s really nothing more than a diet version of Trump. His immigration views parrot a decidedly un-libertarian, nativist line and would require ample government spending to implement; his foreign policy, while not quite John McCain-levels of bloodthirsty, includes resistance to defense spending cuts and the desire to “carpet-bomb” Syria into oblivion; and he openly courts the most hateful pastors on the right with views on gay marriage and the Kim Davis saga deeply rooted in sheer hostility.


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