Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Monday, May 30, 2016

Be careful what you wish for

The 2016 presidential race has become, more than ever before, a lesser-of-two-evils/be-careful-for-you-wish-for race. The Libertarian Party’s candidates are the latest entry that could lead this nation into a dystopian future. Former governors, Gary Johnson of New Mexico and William Weld of Massachusetts, will carry the banner for their party — both converts from the Republican Party.

The Albuquerque Journal’s story on the tense nominating convention and what the Libertarians stand for is illuminating.

On social issues, it’s a hands’ off policy. Those positions on abortion, same sex marriage and others are sure to alienate the evangelicals who Donald Trump hopes to woo. And, what Johnson characterizes as fiscal conservatism is really a corporatist agenda disguised as financial responsibility.

Johnson’s plan for eliminating the IRS isn’t really about saving money. It’s about replacing a progressive taxing scheme on the highest wage earners with a regressive plan, a national sales tax that will impose the heaviest burden of the poorest of our fellow Americans.

His plan for eliminating regulatory agencies such as the FDA, DEA and others, will give corporate American carte blanche to wreak whatever havoc they wish on us. Evaluating whether drugs are safe and effective? Gone. Controlling BigPharmas’ bribes to members of Congress and unscrupulous doctors? Gone. Ditching the DEA will make drugs rampant. How good is that for the controlling elite? Part of the nation will live drugged and pliant.

Killing the Commerce Department? Where would the nation get its metrics? Would the Libertarians farm out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with the National Weather Service, to a private entity that would support the lies of the climate change deniers? The Department of Education would go. And where would the metrics and monitoring go? Who would protect the rights of students?

The main agenda of Libertarians would be to privatize these functions and in doing so, they remove any attempt at neutrality or balance. Further, any redress on an individual or group level would be through the courts. How does that help Americans?

I suspect the votes for Johnson and Weld will come from those who either don’t understand the party’s platform and its implications; or, from those who like their corporatist approach better than the corporatism of the Republican Party.

Be careful when you wish for.