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IPFS News Link • Politics

Libertarians Should Hope for Clinton Versus Bush in 2016

• http://reason.com

The more I think about the coming presidential election—it's not unreasonable to ask why I think about it at all—the more I am convinced that the best contest for libertarians would be Hillary Clinton versus Jeb Bush. Why? Because all we libertarians would need to do is point to the ballot and ask, "Here's our argument against politics. Need we add anything?" 

What could better illustrate the bankruptcy of the political system than that race? What better way could there be for us to capitalize on the presumed disillusionment, especially among young people, with the Obama years? You wanted hope and change? Here's what it got you.

The stale politics personified by these two uninteresting, dynastic power-seekers couldn't be better suited to driving home our point that the status quo is too firmly entrenched to be challenged effectively from within. I'm not saying that's a timeless law of nature, but it seems to be the case at present. If someone knows a way to change that quickly, please let us know.

A Clinton v. Bush contest would have all the excitement of a snail race. Again, that's good for the advocates of liberty. Is anyone really going to be excited about these two? I guess a few people will think having a woman elected president is worth any cost. But really—Hillary Clinton? She's so obviously opportunistic and void of principle, so ready to say whatever she needs to say to assemble a winning coalition. When she tries to sound like a progressive, I feel I'm watching a Saturday Night Live sketch. She has none of her husband's ability to feign sincerity. Does anyone really believe what she says? I think the only honest statement that could come from her would be, "I want power. Now!"

And Jeb Bush—I can barely conjure up a mental image of him; that's how memorable he is. What does he believe in? It's a silly question. He believes he ought to be president.

I realize the bar is low, but the other candidates in the race would be more interesting, even if in a screwball way. Bernie Sanders against Rand Paul would have more spectator value—maybe. It would depend on which Rand Paul we got. Rand Paul in an anti-interventionist mood, tearing into the Nobel Peace Prize-winning president for perpetual war and execution by drone without due process (with Americans among the victims), would be a welcome sight. But the pressure of coalition politics will keep that Rand Paul under wraps, even if a hint is dropped now and again. No wonder his father looked despondent at the campaign kickoff.


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