I forgot to post this last week, but I’ve got a short piece on the Johnson/Weld Libertarian campaign at CNN. The basic idea – familiar enough to readers of BHL, I imagine – is that it’s a mistake to think of libertarianism as a “right-wing” ideology, and therefore a mistake to think that a successful Libertarian campaign would draw more votes from Trump than from Clinton.
Here’s an excerpt:
First, libertarianism is more than just an economic ideology. It’s a social one. And many Libertarian social positions — an openness to immigration, an embrace of equal rights for gay, lesbian, and transgender persons, a hostility toward the war on drugs and American militarism abroad, and support for women’s reproductive rights — are arguably more progressive than the average Democrat. Libertarians were supporting marriage equality and marijuana legalization, for instance, long before any mainstream politician — Clinton included — would touch those issues.Second, even on strictly economic issues, Libertarians have a lot to say that should appeal to those on the left. Libertarians have long been sharply critical, for instance, of the ways regulations such as occupational licensing requirements are used to protect the economically powerful at the expense of the poor and marginalized. They’ve fought against subsidies, bailouts, and other forms of “crony capitalism” that benefit the few at the expense of the masses. And — contrary to popular perception — Libertarians have often argued in favor of a well-designed social safety net to protect those who fail to benefit from the economic dynamism of a free economy. Both Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek, for instance, supported what many regard as a radically progressive policy — a basic income guarantee. And Gary Johnson has suggested that he is open to the idea as well.