Since Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton, I’ve heard a number of Sanders supporters indicate that they’re considering supporting Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s nominee. We need to nip this in the bud right now. Gary Johnson is by far the most reactionary and right wing candidate in the race, especially on economic issues. I didn’t write him a candidate evaluation because in 2012 he received less than 1% of the vote, but a recent poll says 10% of Sanders supporters are now willing to support Johnson. If you are a Johnson supporter or you know someone who is, there’s some important information about Johnson and the Libertarians that everyone needs to know.
Some of the reaction to yesterday’s post, “Intellectual Hipsters: Libertarians” made the argument that yes, libertarianism has many defects in its theoretical intellectual foundation, but that perhaps real world libertarians are not deriving their policies strictly from that foundation, or that the policies of the Libertarian Party in America remain useful for other, non-libertarian reasons. I agree that this is a proposition worth considering, and so this post exists as a companion piece to yesterday’s–examining libertarian policy in practise to go along with yesterdays’ examination of libertarian political theory.
There’s another upstart group of intellectual hipsters in addition to the sceptics and the lovers of Nietzsche–the libertarians. You’ve definitely met these hipsters before. They wax romantically about Ron Paul, some of them voted for Gary Johnson, they tend to like theorists like Nozick and Locke, and some of them are Ayn Rand-embracing objectivists. You know the type. Like all hipsters, their ideas are much less sophisticated and clever than they imagine, and their position is neither novel nor socially helpful. Of course, I cannot merely assert these things, I have to prove them. Let’s go.