Libertarians for Bernie

Since some of you ascribe to that philosophy, in all or part, Reason has a one-sentence argument in favor of Sanders:
[H]e is the candidate least likely to order a ground invasion of Syria.
True.

16 comments:

Eric Blair said...

Not relevant at this point.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

There was an interview with one of the white supremacists who supported Obama in 2008. They felt he was less likely to get into a war on behalf of Jews.

Well, that's true, and so is Reason's argument. It's one of those positions that is probably going to be the wisest, and worth holding in front of any president.

But it's not always going to be the best solution. And that's the problem.

Grim, you might be an excellent person to start us off on this discussion: Which is more costly to a nation - to fight an unnecessary war (even two or three unnecessary wars) or to refuse to fight a necessary one? Obviously, it's pretty ugly either way.

Grim said...

The way the question is framed, it's a simple matter of modal logic. To refuse to fight a war that is truly necessary would mean necessarily losing whatever it was the war was necessary to conserve or protect. Unnecessary wars could possibly have as bad a consequence, but possibly rather than necessarily.

In this case, though, it was the unnecessary wars that set us up for the arrival of the necessary one. I supported those wars. I'm convinced they were right. We destabilized the Middle East on purpose, because it was tyrannical and brutal. If we had stayed the course, even as late as 2009 it was on track for a new birth of liberty for the long-suffering peoples of a long-suffering region.

We did not reckon right with the attachment of the cultural left in America to the myth of Vietnam. Their opposition to the war was driven by a thousand movies and songs. The anti-war movement was right without needing to think about it. American war was colonial, violent, reactionary, and racist. Bush was Nixon. Iraq was Vietnam. Code Pink was Martin Luther King. They were on the side of progress and the angels, and we had to be beaten for the country to be saved from the evil bred in its bones.

If the war coming on us now, and first on Europe, if that war is necessary, it was our fault. We understood our enemies very well. We failed Sun Tzu's other dictum: we did not understand ourselves. We were not a nation that could win the war we sought. We couldn't be beaten, except by ourselves.

Millions are now paying the price for that. It is the Left's fault, in a way. But they know not what they do, even now. We are the ones who should have known. I see that now.

Texan99 said...

Libertarians for socialism, that's a good one.

Tom said...

We failed Sun Tzu's other dictum: we did not understand ourselves. We were not a nation that could win the war we sought. We couldn't be beaten, except by ourselves.

Millions are now paying the price for that. It is the Left's fault, in a way. But they know not what they do, even now. We are the ones who should have known. I see that now.

Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner.

Tex, yep. Some "libertarians" are more than happy to be slaves as long as they can either, A, poke others in the eye, or B, stay high enough not to care.

Edith Hook said...

I certainly don't want to be the world's policeman, but it is very hard not to intervene on behalf of the victims. You're damned if you do, damned if you don't. There are consequences and the potential of spillover either way. There is no point in intervening after the genocide.
Setting aside for a moment, the human cost, I think of 9/11 as economic warfare. There are economists who argue that it cost up to a trillion dollars, not in direct losses, but in indirect costs, including lost opportunity costs. WE live in an interdependent world. That is why, it is sometimes more prudent to take the battle to the enemy, especially the enemies capacity to make war, ala Patton and Sherman. But I think even they would be stymied by asymmetrical war.

Elise said...

Megan McArdle had an enjoyable look at this argument recently: A Libertarian Case for Sanders? It’s Fun But Not Convincing":

To support Sanders, libertarians would have to value [Sander's gains on national security] really, really highly in order to accept the downsides: undoing Heller, Hobby Lobby, Citizens United and a dozen other libertarian-friendly cases; accepting and expanding the Obama administration’s push to deprive rape suspects of due process on campuses; much more heavily regulating every industry under federal control; opposing trade; and so forth. It’s perfectly fair to say that you’re a libertarian who cares so much about national security issues that basically everything else is a distant second, but it’s not the only definition of "libertarian."

MikeD said...

but it’s not the only definition of "libertarian."

It's not the definition of a libertarian at all. It's a definition of "isolationist" or at the least "non-interventionist". Anyone who would support a socialist because of his stance on non-intervention would hardly be a libertarian.

And I love how once again we get the "spiteful or drug addled as the only reasons to be a libertarian" slur. I have literally never tried an illegal drug (or ones that were only legal in certain states, for that matter). I have on occasion overindulged in alcohol, and very seldom at that. To me, being a libertarian is supporting individual freedom and liberty even at times people use those freedoms and liberties to do things I don't approve of. There are plenty of things I would argue in favor of that I think are stupid choices for people to do. Mandatory helmet laws for motorcyclists are an overreach by government. And yet, you'd never catch me on a motorcycle without a helmet. I think the government has no right to dictate what you choose to put into your own body, but I'd never dream of touching heroin with a 10' pole. It's easy to support liberties you approve of. It's supporting those you don't that shows you mean what you say.

And to get back on topic, someone who favors wealth re-distribution, confiscatory (and indeed, punitive) taxation, and anti-free market policies is no more libertarian than I am a communist. The fact that one candidate is a non-interventionist (a policy I do NOT support, which I am sure causes other libertarians to say I am not a libertarian) makes that candidate have one policy in common with the national LP. Everything else he stands for is anathema to the platform of the LP.

Tom said...

And I love how once again we get the "spiteful or drug addled as the only reasons to be a libertarian" slur.

Whoa, there, Mike. Put that straw man down. He's not doing anything to you.

Allow me to expand on my comment:

Some "libertarians" = Some people who just call themselves libertarians but really are not libertarians (like the "libertarians" in the OP who would argue that voting for a socialist is the most libertarian thing to do)

I have literally never tried an illegal drug (or ones that were only legal in certain states, for that matter).

Me either, but I still call myself a libertarian. I'm not into everything libertarians usually support, but that's about as close as I can get to a label to put on myself that an average person might understand.

Grim said...

I have on occasion overindulged in alcohol, and very seldom at that.... you'd never catch me on a motorcycle without a helmet.

Once again, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have such virtuous readers. :) I can't actually make either claim, myself.

I am with you on having avoided illegal drugs.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I know libertarians who are primarily marijuana advocates. Perhaps I should put libertarian in quotes for that, but they do exist. Here in NH we have a wide variety of types of libertarians. Or folks that claim that label, anyway.

douglas said...

" The anti-war movement was right without needing to think about it. American war was colonial, violent, reactionary, and racist. Bush was Nixon. Iraq was Vietnam. Code Pink was Martin Luther King. They were on the side of progress and the angels, and we had to be beaten for the country to be saved from the evil bred in its bones.

If the war coming on us now, and first on Europe, if that war is necessary, it was our fault. We understood our enemies very well. We failed Sun Tzu's other dictum: we did not understand ourselves. We were not a nation that could win the war we sought. We couldn't be beaten, except by ourselves.

Millions are now paying the price for that. It is the Left's fault, in a way. But they know not what they do, even now. We are the ones who should have known. I see that now. "


Whoa, hold on there. I think that given we had seemed to have learned a bit about the perils of walking away from previous interventions (Vietnam, Afghanistan post Soviet evacuation), that there were serious dangers there, and that in the wake of 9/11, we had a different viewpoint that was a little wiser and aware of the world as it is. Was that really an unreasonable viewpoint in the years immediately following 9/11? Were we not, at least in the moment, seemingly ready for such commitment? Certainly many of us were, but apparently too many had rather short memories. It may be that it was all a mistake, but I'll not concede so easily that 'we should have known'. Sounds more like 20/20 hindsight in the wake of self-fulfilling prophesies from the left once they won a couple of elections.

Grim said...

Was that really an unreasonable viewpoint in the years immediately following 9/11? Were we not, at least in the moment, seemingly ready for such commitment? Certainly many of us were...

Many of us, yes.

Sounds more like 20/20 hindsight in the wake of self-fulfilling prophesies from the left once they won a couple of elections.

The important question is, "Why did they win?"

In 2006, they voted to pass off Congress to a party that was running on the slogan, "Mr. President, this war is lost." The American people -- in vast majority -- voted in 2008 to pass off two wars to a half-term Senator with no experience in the military. The other choice was a war hero with decades of relevant experience.

The 2012 election is more understandable. But those first two elections were landslides in favor of surrendering and walking away -- the first one only 5 years after 9/11.

We didn't understand, I think, how poisoned the culture has become by the self-loving mythology of Vietnam and Woodstock and glorious love-centered hippies.

20/20 hindsight may be a danger, but in retrospect I would have to say that we should have stopped with the Special Forces' backing of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. The mission to destabilize the Middle East -- and we were quite clear that this was our intention -- was a massive undertaking that required Postwar-Germany-and-Japan levels of popular support, for a similar period.

That America was still around, fifteen years ago, in much greater numbers than now. But the power had already passed on to the Woodstock generation. Very many of them are deeply in love with their myth, and they have raised their children and grandchildren to believe in it too.

douglas said...

That sounds rather like a different kind of surrender to me. I guess I'm just not ready to go there yet. It's too depressing, as the ramifications are quite severe in the longer term. A whole lot of people are going to die if we just sit back for a while, including many of our own once we eventually realize we can't just sit on the sidelines.

Ymar Sakar said...

Petraeus was too successful. It allowed the Left to leverage Iraq as being won. Although that wouldn't have stopped Hussein, given the Leftist alliance's strategic reserves being activated in his favor.

Democrats like McClellan knew the advantage of stalling war effort for better election chances back home. Even Clinton said Bush II had Osama locked up somewhere, ready to be revealed.

I guess Republican leaders just aren't that clever. Or traitorous. Not even Nixon.

Ymar Sakar said...

We are the ones who should have known.

Bombing foreigners overseas is easy for Americans to do. Bombing traitors at home and executing them, not so easy.

Yet without it, defeat is inevitable, for the highest threat to America is inside the gates, not outside.

People should have realized that any alliance of Democrats and Leftists, who were hesitant about bombing tyrants overseas, would inevitably want to bomb patriots at home and allies overseas. It's not logic, it's intuition and fate.