Monday, October 3, 2016


      Though I find it inconceivable, there is clear evidence that some of Bernie’s supporters are turning to Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party. I have to wonder if any of them have read the Libertarian Party’s platform? Probably not, because many of its provisions are so diametrically opposed to Bernie’s they might have been written by an evil twin.

      Two examples:

      Millennials feel especially burdened by the cost of an education at one or another of our State universities. Both tuition and interest rates are, in their opinion (and mine, as well), far too high. By way of solution, Bernie advocates free tuition at State universities, while Hillary pushes a less extreme, though still significant, reform. That said, if Gary Johnson is elected and implements the Libertarian Party’s education plank, students will no longer have to worry about costs. That’s because the Libertarian plank calls for the abolition of public education from kindergarten through medical school. You receive an education only if your parents can afford to send you to a private school. Otherwise, you grow up illiterate.

      Over and over again, in the course of his primary campaign, Bernie termed global warming the great challenge of our time. We must fight against it for the sake of future generations and we can only do so by aggressive laws that limit carbon-based pollution. By contrast, the Libertarians hope to abolish all regulation of the environment. If you’re injured by pollution, you have the right to seek damages in court. That should be enough.
      And why not? It’s a fair fight? Mary Smith vs. Koch Enterprises? A slam dunk if ever there was one.

      I’m told that we live in an age of shortened attention spans, that we can’t expect younger Americans to concentrate longer than it takes to speed-read the 140 characters in a Tweet. But this failure on the part of Bernie’s supporters to become minimally acquainted with the positions taken by the Libertarian Party speaks volumes about the depth of their commitment. A simple Google search took me to the Libertarian platform in under thirty seconds. The document is about three pages long. Bernie’s faithless supporters clearly haven’t read it, either because they’re as lazy as others claim they are, or because they prefer an abysmal ignorance that allows them to indulge their sense of entitlement.

      Let me close by saying that the worst political mistake made by many in the boomer generation, which includes this writer, was to sit on our hands while Richard Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey in 1968. The harm to progressive causes that followed is virtually incalculable.

      Mea culpa, boys and girls. Mea culpa.

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