There’s a new push by Bernie Sanders supporters to try to lure Rand Paul supporters into the #FeeltheBern fold. Julie Borowski was the first to notice a meme circulating around the web, and put it up on her Facebook page.
First off, it’s doubtful Borowski is even considering Sanders as a potential candidate because of her videos on economic freedom and past criticism of Sanders. But it’s not surprising at all to see Sanders supporters go after Paul ones based on the stances listed in the meme. After all, Paul supporters have targeted Sanders supporters over certain issues before turning it into a discussion on freedom and liberty. The thing Paul’s libertarian supporters need to really consider before deciding to join the Sanders camp is the fact how anti-freedom and liberty the Vermont Senator is due to his democratic socialist viewpoints. This is something Terry Michael wrote in his final piece at Reason (before either his contract ran out, or he was run out for his leftist viewpoints) (emphasis mine):
There are three issue frames in politics. Foreign. Social. Economic. Sanders is as non-interventionist as Ron Paul on foreign policy. He is as pro-choice and pro-gay rights as Yahweh on social issues (Yahweh has come a long way in the past several decades). And like most of us libertarians who despise crony capitalism, Bernie eschews the big three rent-seeking lobbies: Big Investment Banks, Big Pharma Drug Dealers, and Big War Profiteers.
Granted, he wants free health care, free day care, free college tuition, and free scoops of Ben and Jerry’s. But hey, nobody’s perfect.
The “free health care, free day care, free college tuition” line is exactly why Paul’s libertarian supporters shouldn’t be jumping on the Sanders train. I’ve already written why Sanders’ “free college tuition” proposal is a load of crap because the Swedish model he based it on doesn’t exist. Sanders is also pushing government spending which could end up costing $18T by focusing on punishing the rich, which Emily Zanotti at The American Spectator pointed out doesn’t work because it thinks “the rich” won’t leave the U.S. to save money like they did in France. The only way Sanders’ “tax the rich” scheme might work is if the government sends cops or bureaucrats to every millionaire’s home and business to tell them when and where they can transfer money (and no Rand Paul fan should be interested in that). Reason has also written why Sanders’ proposals would probably destroy the U.S. economy. There’s also the fact Sanders is completely hypocritical when it comes to super PACs. He’s trumpeted the fact he doesn’t have a super PAC on his website, and wants to get rid of the Citizens United decision, but The New York Times pointed out Sanders is actually benefiting from Citizens United because of how many unions are donating to him.
The union’s “super PAC” has spent close to $1 million on ads and other support for Mr. Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate who has inspired liberal voters with his calls to eradicate such outside groups. In fact, more super PAC money has been spent so far in express support of Mr. Sanders than for either of his Democratic rivals, including Hillary Clinton, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Howard Dean even told MSNBC last week how unions were really super PACs (which is shocking because no Democrat seems willing to admit this). This shows Sanders’ claim to want to get money out of politics doesn’t hold water. Sanders’ hypocrisy on Citizens United is why Paul’s supporters should be extremely hesistant about supporting him. This is why it’s important for libertarians to make sure their brethren aren’t deceived by Sanders’ supporters as they try to lure them into the other camp. Yes, economic inequality is an issue. But the question is what’s the best way for people in the lower class to make it into the middle class, and the middle class into the upper class? Is it raising taxes on the super rich in an attempt to pay off the lower classes by giving out “free stuff”? Or is it by lowering taxes and regulations on everyone (from big corporations to the small business owner to the guy or gal working two jobs), plus reducing government spending (to help lower costs), as a way to make sure more people get to keep more cash and reduce the chance of the government asking for more money in the future? It’s something Paul supporters need to consider when they head to the polls.
Rand Paul’s decision to leave the race has his Republican supporters trying to figure out which candidate they’ll throw their vote at in the upcoming primaries. It’s not the easiest of decisions because the majority of the other GOP candidates are in favor of more war or more government spending. There are some who’d consider Ted Cruz an option, but his libertarian streak sometimes seems more of convenience than actual priciple (and that’s coming from someone who donated to his 2012 Senate campaign). But those who are Paul fans should strongly resist the idea of a Sanders’ candidacy. It’s true some of his stances are similar to Paul’s, but that doesn’t matter a hill of beans when #FeeltheBern is pushing for more laws, regulations, and spending to choke out the ability for ANYONE to get further in life. The best option is to look at the Libertarian Party candidates like ex-New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, Austin Petersen, or Marc Allan Feldman. As for who to vote for in the GOP primary, that’s falls on supporters of Bush, Carson, Christie, Cruz, Fiorina, Gilmore, Kasich, Rubio, and Trump to explain why their candidate is best for libertarians who also happen to be Republicans.