That would be a shame because Clinton should be seen for the hawk she is. She is vulnerable on the domestic side, of course: her notorious ties to Wall Street are juicy targets for someone like Sanders, and she deserves to have this dirty linen put on full display. But Sanders is boxed in by his modest—yes, modest—agenda, which calls merely for more regulation by Washington bureaucrats rather than a radical elimination of the deeply rooted government privilege that characterizes the American political economy. [Markets do regulate themselves when privilege is absent.] He seems unfamiliar with the principle of regulatory capture. How many failures of “reform” must we experience before people like Sanders finally get the point? Sadly, a great opportunity will be lost to teach Americans that the problem is the corporate state—the long-standing government-business alliance—and that the solution is the radically freed market, not better regulators. We can empower bureaucrats or liberate people. It’s not really a tough choice.
I suppose Rand Paul would make “crony capitalism” part of his campaign too, but we can’t expect him to propose a thorough rooting out of corporatism. Further, since he supports increased military spending, he encourages expansion of the trough at which major corporations feed. So at best his message would be murky and uninstructive. Another opportunity forgone.
So I’m leaning toward the position I opened with. Let’s have the two stalest, most forgettable people imaginable run for president in 2016. Suffering through that race will either convince people that needed radical change won’t come from the electoral system, or if that is too much to swallow, it will convince them that the candidate gatekeepers must be exiled so that fresh thinking—read: libertarian ideas—can have a shot for a change. Wouldn’t a few months of Clinton and Bush be worth it?