Via the Free Beacon, this is the guy I’m stuck with this fall, huh? *ffffaaaarrrrtttt* Second look at NRO Contributor 2016?
A few months ago I would have laughed at Johnson for pandering to a left-wing movement that’s purportedly all about economics by emphasizing his common ground with them on everything but economics. After reading this, I’m not so sure. There’s a convincing case out there that a good chunk of Berniemania is twentysomethings and independent white men who disdain the Democratic label, relish the spirit of Sanders’s movement, but … aren’t terribly invested in the ultra-left platform he’s running on. Give them a dose of idealism and a strong anti-establishment posture, which is one great virtue of a third-party candidacy, and they might hear you out. I wonder, though, how much Johnson will be hurt by the contrast in temperaments with Sanders. Like Trump, Bernie is a bombthrower, although most of his bombs are aimed at institutions, not individuals who’ve displeased him. There’s a thrill in joining a movement that’s dedicated to burning down a corrupt system but you don’t get that vibe strongly from Johnson. He has none of the fire despite libertarians’ counterculture brand. He comes off in interviews less like Sanders or Trump than like Ben Carson, the kindly yet awkward high-school teacher whom you’ve always liked but who’s always seemed a little “off.” Trump’s advantage this fall in competing for Sanders voters is that he’s the only one of the final three candidates who has any degree of charisma. How much will that matter to Bernie’s less dogmatic fans vis-a-vis sticking with the Democratic nominee or throwing in with the none-of-the-above candidate Johnson?
Exit question: At one point, Johnson assures the caller here, “Libertarians agree with socialism as long as it’s voluntary.” I … sort of understand that. As long as people are choosing their social arrangements freely, without government coercion, sure, go ahead and form that commune with 40 other people that you’ve always dreamed of. To a right-wing mindset, though, the idea of “voluntary socialism” seems like a contradiction in terms. Social equality of the type and scale that Sanders has in mind requires state coercion necessarily.
Johnson apparently is unaware that a socialist State is the exact opposite of libertarian thought. Libertarians, your candidate is not what he pretends to be.
While I’ve never seen an actual specimen before, there supposedly is such a thing as a libertarian socialist. Libertarian socialism is a genuine political orientation. It’s some sort of subcategory of anarchism.
Actually he has a point. I would personally have no problem if a state, let’s say Massachusetts, decided to go full-communist, expropriating all private businesses and property, and promising free drugs and guaranteed salaries to all residents – as long as the people (and businesses) of Massachusetts maintain the constitutional right to leave.
And that is the main difference between people who respect the Founders’ vision of the Constitution and those liberals and progressives who do not. The more power is kept down low, at the local or state level, the greater the propensity for bad government to self-correct, as residents of badly-run regions pick up and leave. But if you allow the central government to become very powerful (it has), and bad government settles in (it has), there is NO pressure to self-correct, as most people do not have the choice to pack up and move someplace else.
Progressives and Leftists in general want to make their changes at the federal level for exactly this reason – so that nobody has a choice in the matter once in place.