Why I Could Live With President Sanders

As a libertarian and registered Republican, to say I’m disappointed with the GOP’s current crop of presidential candidates is a mild understatement. I pretty much hate them all. My top choices were Gov. Scott Walker (first to drop out) and Sen. Rand Paul (latest casualty). If Trump or Cruz become the GOP candidate there is only one scenario in which I will vote for either of them:

If Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee.

I don’t have a long history of Hillary bashing the way some on the Right have. 8 years ago I even said some nice things about her. But the woman simply doesn’t know how to tell the truth. She’s a pathological liar, and one that deserves prison for her handling of top secret data on her unsecured server, and ostracism for her role in wrecking Libya and sentencing an ambassador and his security detail to death – and covering up with lies by blaming it on a video afterward. She also exemplifies the crony capitalist, taking millions from Wall Street banks including Goldman Sachs then portraying herself as being soulmates with Occupy Wall Street. As the British newspaper columnist Tim Stanley for the Daily Telegraph writes, “Her politics is the politics of identity, narrowed down to a very specific constituency: she’s selling herself as the hope of everyday rich white women who want to be president.”  There is only one thing worse than a Trump presidency in my view and that’s a Hillary presidency.

Which brings me to Bernie Sanders. Sanders is a self-avowed “democratic socialist”, a form of government more akin to those found in Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia than in the United States. Sanders has spent his entire life espousing socialism. He has not lied about it, nor has he hidden it the way Hillary has hidden her ties to Wall Street. Sanders is a socialist, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to vote for him.

While I don’t like his economic policies, especially now when I’m preparing to finalize my taxes whereby the Wife and I send an extremely large portion of our labor earnings to the Federal and State governments, I’m less averse to his social liberalism. If you want to revolutionize American economics, the Presidency is not the place to do it. Congress controls the country’s purse strings, and there is no way his socialist economic policies would see the light of day in a Congress dominated by Republicans.

It’s often said that Libertarians combine the fiscal conservatism of the Republican Party with the social liberalism of the Democrats, but it’s been a long time since either party came close to either stereotype. The Republicans under Bush spent like Democrats during their 8 years in power, 6 years of which they held control of Congress as well as the White House, and today’s Democratic Party is the party of censorship, gun confiscation, and state interference into the private lives of its citizenry.

It’s worth noting that until very recently Sanders wasn’t a member of the Democratic Party. His stances on social issues are much more libertarian-friendly than the woman appearing on Reason magazine’s cover next to the title, “Hail to the Censor! Hillary Clinton’s Long War on Free Speech.” Would a Sanders presidency be all that bad for libertarians?

Andrew Kirell, writing at The Daily Beast, doesn’t think so. In his piece The Libertarian Case for Bernie Kirell quotes Reason.com editor Nick Gillespie saying, “You could do worse than having Bernie Sanders in the White House,” he admitted. “The things that he would be able to direct in the White House would accord with libertarian values. Being a commander-in-chief, he would minister our foreign policy much differently than Obama or Bush; he would be much more likely to change the scheduling for marijuana, which the president can do; and he’d be in a much better position to push criminal justice reform.” Gillespie later responded on Reason.com’s website, writing “Suffice it to say that noting you could do worse than Sanders is not an endorsement.”

Unfortunately libertarians don’t have many choices this round, but isn’t this pretty much the SNAFU case every 4 years? When’s the last time you absolutely loved either candidate? I don’t think I’ve ever felt the thrill up the leg that Chris Mathews felt for Obama in 2008. I’m suspicious of any candidate who inspires such emotional charge.

But the truth is I think America would be better off under a President Sanders than it would be under a President Clinton or Trump. At the very least it would give both parties time to shake out the crazies so that in 2020 America would have saner choices than those offered by either parties today.

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  1. Scott Kirwin:

    I didn’t say I’d vote for him, just that I could live with him. I’ll admit I’m a dumbass but I’m still working on the deranged part.

  2. Rob Miller:

    You’re certainly entitled. You want to be a tax slave for ‘the more deserving?’ fine. But keep in mind that if you think a dysfunctional corrupt government has its foot on your neck now, just wait until Clinton or Sanders get in, because there’s maybe a dime’s worth of difference..For instance, right now both of them are wooing anti-semite and racist Al Sharpton.

    You see,Bernie’s had to act a little bit libertarian, because he was a senator for Vermont. As an example, Vermont has some of the loosest gun laws in America, so Bernie always had to vote pro Seco0nd Amendment. As President he’s going to have a much different constituency to answer to, and they ain’t libertarians.

  3. Scott Kirwin:

    A dime’s worth of difference between Hillary and Bernie? I respectfully disagree.
    When did Bernie promise a “reset” with Russia and allow Putin to do whatever he wanted in eastern Europe and the Middle East?
    When did Bernie “lead from behind” to take out a behaving dictator and replace him with a failed state?
    When did Bernie reduce security at the consulate facilities in that country, leading to the first murder of an ambassador in 30 years?
    When did Bernie lie about that murder, placing the blame on a poorly produced Youtube video?
    When did Bernie set up a personal email server, then lie about it?
    Her sycophants make Nixon’s inner circle look like boy scouts.
    I could go on, but you get the point.

    Bernie’s a socialist. I don’t know what Hillary is. She’s an enigma wrapped in a cocoon of lies.

    I will likely support the GOP nominee no matter who is nominated, especially if it means adding my single vote to making sure that Hillary never steps foot in the Oval Office again.
    But I’m also realistic.

    The GOP is a mess and the grassroots are at their wits ends to salvage the party. It tried the Tea Party, and the GOP establishment either coopted its members (like Rubio) or it joined the Democrats in trashing its supporters. The result is Trump. Progressives look at their establishment and see Hillary, a woman bought and paid for by the Vampire Squid. The result is Bernie!

    And although not optimal on nearly every level, a Bernie presidency would not be the worst outcome this year. And that’s what this post was about.

  4. Rob Miller:

    Kind of a false equivalency IMO,my friend. Mrs. Clinton was in a position where she was able to do what you describe. Bernie Sanders never was, so there’s no telling what he would do except your sense of him. And from what we’ve seen thus far, he’s not exactly the man of principle he paints himself as. F’rinstance, after actually scolding the idiots at the Netroots forum from #blacklivesmatter when they took over the event while he was trying to speak, his ‘people’ explained to him that without those racist votes, he was toast. So all of a sudden he hired a black spokeswoman and now he’s bending over for the likes of Al Sharpton.

    Vote for whomever you like, but just be aware of what’s in store if he wins.

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  9. MMinLamesa:

    I’m with the first guy-you’re out of your freaking mind.

    Any of the remaining Repubs is light years better then this deranged old communist-and yes that could mean either one of these dem nut jobs.

    We’d have China crawling even further up our ass and you could kiss the ME goodbye along with TSHTF for reals.

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  12. JACK SHAW:

    I had the very same thought a few days ago.
    If the GOP loses the election the party should collapse. It would show that the GOP establishment is hated by the grass rootscitizen.
    If the Bernie wins, the Clinton and Obama camps and the party itself will realize they have to have new young leadership and anew direction
    for the establ Dems to win again.
    A bernie win would also show the media their old political theories don’t mean athing anymore and no one is listening to them.

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  20. Veritas:

    The author proves you can’t fix stupid.

    Anyone who cheers on a candidate who loves Stalin and honeymooned in Russia during the cold war obviously has different values than most of the men I served with.

    Anyone who could live with someone who will steal from Peter to pay Paul is not someone I trust to watch a red hot stove, for fear he might steal it.

    Anyone who believes Bernie will protect and honor the Constitution rather than someone like Cruz, obvious must be a graduate of the Havard Law School.

    I can only hope you get your wish. I will retire to Costa Rica.

  21. Scott Kirwin:

    Interesting, I’ve given serious thought to retiring there too.

    People want free shit? Let’s give it to them. Let’s put a die-hard socialist without any ties to the Democratic Party in office and see what happens. Democrats have always flirted with socialism, so let’s put one in the office and see what happens. I am confident that once they got a glimpse of what socialism is they would start to choke on it. I’ve lived some in socialist countries so I’ve seen the pluses/minuses up close. Funny how few of those on the Left have ever lived in a socialist paradise like Italy or the UK. It’s always spectacular from a distance. But try getting internet installed in Rome; it takes 6 months with as much paperwork as applying for a mortgage. A socialist president would be the best thing to happen to the Republican Party since the election of Jimmy Carter.

    I wrote this before the death of Antonin Scalia so my calculations have changed quite a bit since writing it. I’m also more confident than ever that Hillary is going to beat Bernie like a drum in two weeks in South Carolina and Nevada, so the point is moot.

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