As Libertarians, we’re used to being disappointed and pessimistic about the future. The Democrats are incapable of understanding basic economics, and the Republicans are beyond prepared to wage wars with anyone at any time. The current crop of presidential candidates are hard to look at and listen to, and our message has evidently fallen on deaf ears. The Libertarian revolution proposed by Ron Paul seems like a mission our grandchildren will still be fighting to fulfill. I wish them the best of luck.
Having said all of that, we have to stay optimistic. There are two sides to every coin, and glimmers of light are hidden in even the darkest situations. In this post, I will do my best to focus on the sunny side of things and discuss what I think the good news might be when one of the four remaining contenders for the 2016 presidential election is sworn in next year.
Take a deep breath, smile, and enjoy!
The dark side is clear. The Social Justice Warriors hell-bent on destroying the Bill of Rights, Capitalism, and intellectual discourse will have their advocate in the Oval Office. Bernie Sanders’ followers, who are in large part young and inexperienced in life, need a loss for their own good, and a win would be terribly damaging to their already suspect mental health. These times call for tangos with tough luck, not participation trophies. I doubt the Socialist can even conceive what that means.
Sanders, like most of our other candidates, seeks to expand the illegitimate powers of the executive branch without hesitation, and America as we know it could be damaged beyond repair if he gets his way. It seems likely that Sanders would nominate Bill Ayers and Rachel Maddow to the Supreme Court before someone who mildly respects private property rights and state sovereignty, so it’s fair to assume that whatever legislation Sanders manages to get through Congress would be promptly legitimized by the judicial branch.
On the bright side, the unconstitutional and dangerous economic policies Sanders has been proposing are impossible to implement. Congress will likely remain in the hands of the GOP leaving Sanders high and dry as he tries to push his policies forward. When the true nature of “free education” (it’d only be for especially qualified individuals, not everyone [meaning rich kids will go to college for free]) is revealed, many of his supporters could join Conservatives and reasonable Democrats in opposing the unprecedented measures. Sanders will be up against a brick wall in his efforts to make his campaign promises come to fruition, and that’s good news for supporters of the free market and privatization.
As unlikely as Sanders’ fantastical economic ideas are to pass, some of his civil liberty initiatives could result in progress for the Libertarian movement. Sanders is against the unconstitutional Drug War (not because it’s unconstitutional), mass surveillance (again, not because of the Constitution), and supports auditing the Fed (though he spoiled Ron Paul’s attempt to do so when it actually had a chance of happening). Political action of this variety has a fair amount of bipartisan support, so we may actually witness it with Sanders in the White House.
Intentions often result in their antithesis. And while I personally would not want to risk it with a moral idiot and apparent apologist for Communism in power, a Sanders presidency could unintentionally be a Libertarian dream come true.
The super-herd backing Sanders seems committed to using politics instead of hard work and good decision making to better their situations. So if you’re serious about Liberty, be prepared for a long fight against the Marxist uprising Sanders is bringing about.
A bright side to Hillary Clinton being elected president? Well… no one would be able to complain about America never electing a female president again! Uh… hang on… I know there are a few more advantages. There has to be, right?
The real bright side of electing Hillary Clinton is how easy it would be to knock her out of office as an incumbent come 2020. The one issue Progressives, Libertarians, Trumpians, and Conservatives can come together on is despising Bill Clinton’s wife. After four years in office, it would be a breeze thumping her back to civilian status. We’d just have to hope that the GOP can get its act together and unify behind a halfway decent candidate when the time comes.
What’s more is that Hillary Clinton is not an ideologue like Cruz or Sanders and is not a pragmatist like Donald Trump. She is an ice-veined, soulless, thoughtless career politician. And if you haven’t figure it out yet, the priorities of folks like her are (1) get elected and (2) get reelected. As a result, Clinton would likely spend her entire first term working on her 2020 campaign instead of fighting to make changes in the country. When the 2020 election comes along, our first female president would likely be ousted before having a minute to focus on signing legislation.
No harm, no foul? Personally, I wouldn’t want to risk it.
He’s a protectionist, he seems unafraid to make executive orders, he never references the Constitution, he openly opposes many of our First Amendment Rights, and he’s kind of a jerk. The dark side of a President Donald Trump is out in the open for everyone to see.
Nonetheless, bright sides to a Trumpian presidency do exist. For one, Trump’s healthcare plan is actually solid, though it has not received much coverage in the Conservative media. I assume that this is because the establishment is afraid to expose how swell it is and risk losing more #NeverTrump voters.
Another thing to think about is how overblown criticisms of Trump have been overall. I called him a protectionist two paragraphs ago, but he’s actually a reasonably reliable Capitalist. His beef is not necessarily that we have free trade, it’s that the deals we make are subpar. Trump thinks he can negotiate superior trade deals, and it’s not crazy to imagine that with the author of The Art of the Deal in charge. While the American economy is a bit too important for me to feel secure with it in Trump’s hands, I’d surely take his advice on making deals if I had my own company.
On foreign policy, Trump says some crazy things. He talks about killing the families’ of terrorists, imperialistically taking oil from our enemies, expanding our use of torture, and temporarily banning Muslims from entering the US. As vile and unconstitutional as all of that sounds, haven’t we all come to realize that Trump doesn’t mean half the things he says? #NeverTrump Conservatives and Liberals alike constantly rail on Trump for his inconsistencies, flip-flops, and speak-before-you-think approach to communication. So, why are we all of a sudden so concerned that his war and immigration proposals are sincere? I think he’s ramping up the rhetoric to light a fire under his supporters’ rear ends more than he is articulating his actual policy ideas.
Trump, seemingly more than any other candidate, seems to genuinely believe that our involvement in nations abroad is unjustifiable and costly. Isn’t that what we Libertarians have been saying this entire time? Is Trump more like Ron Paul on foreign policy than we give him credit for?
A Trump presidency would certainly concern me. And I don’t blame anyone for being drastically more worried than that. But there’s a chance that it would not only be far from the end of the world, maybe the dawn of a smarter and far less politically correct approach to promoting Liberty in America would be on the horizon with The Donald in charge.
While many Libertarians disagree, and I understand where they’re coming from, I believe that Ted Cruz would be a great choice for those of us who’d like to see a Liberty-minded candidate in the White House. He wants to cut both social and corporate welfare, he wants to lower taxes and implement a flat rate, and he wants to follow the 10th Amendment to return power to the states and the people respectively. Cruz is anti-gay marriage and opposed to the legalization of marijuana, but he recognizes that the president and the federal government have no business making decisions on these issues, and wants to leave them to the states. Call him a bigot if you want to, but at least he plays by the rules.
Since I could go on and on about what I believe the bright sides of a Cruz presidency would be (and you can read more about that here), I’ll change things up and focus on his dark side.
Ted Cruz does not understand the 4th Amendment. Though he initially praised Edward Snowden, Cruz has turned his back on the whistleblower and called him a traitor. He sided with the feds on the San Bernardino iPhone controversy, and he claims he’d like to monitor Muslim communities for threats of radicalization. This is not what Libertarians or the Constitution stand for, and Cruz owes us an explanation.
Additionally, Cruz has a massively expensive plan to reinvigorate our military. And while most Libertarians agree that our armed forces should be robust, we all feel that current spending on the military is out of control and contributing to the national debt. We may not have to cut military spending, but an increase seems unnecessary.
In the end, Cruz would likely make strides in decentralizing federal power, and, while austerity measures are always a challenge, he’s our best bet to at least keep taxes and spending from increasing. Empowering the states and the people and being a bit more Conservative with fiscal matters would be huge net positives for Libertarians. The bright side is easy to see with Cruz.