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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Republican we can admire -- in part

We can admire this man -- at least for some of his stances.
Last week, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson announced his candidacy for president of the United States.

This was a historic event, because 1) Johnson wants to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and 2) Johnson is a Republican. He also wants to slash the military budget.

Johnson is also opposed to the "war on drugs," which he has called "an expensive bust."
Roger Ebert once asked (re: Johnson): "Why is this man a Republican?"

Actually, he's a libertarian, which means I can't support him. Neither should Ebert.

Libertarians often say admirable things on non-economic issues, but in times like these, economic concerns trump all other matters. The one thing we do not need right now is more Milton Friedmanism.

Neo-liberal economics created the Iceland disaster. Neo-liberal deregulation created the great Wall Street robbery. Milton Friedman personally ran the horrible economy under Pinochet. The Bushies forced a harsh neo-liberalism on Iraq -- and the Iraqis were none too happy with the results.

The Chicago schoolers pretty much ran the Russian economy under Yeltsin, creating an obscene elite while plunging the rest of the country into the depths of poverty. This was all forced on the Russian people -- most of whom, shortly after the fall of communism, told pollsters that they wanted their nation to emulate Sweden. Noting these poll results, U.S. News and World Reports said that the Russian people had to be "re-educated." Boy, were they ever!

Neo-liberalism (or libertarianism) is a trick that they keep trying and trying, in country after country, and it keeps failing and failing. Then the bastards have the gall to pretend that the trick has never even been attempted, that unfettered "capitalism" remains the great untried ideal.


Johnson has said that he "wants to balance the budget tomorrow" through serious cuts. Undoubtedly, these words indicate a desire to slash Social Security and Medicare as well as the military.

On the other hand...

I doubt that Barack Obama will touch the military budget, even though he has made noises along those lines. And I worry about the future of Social Security no matter who wins in 2012.
I share your belief that libertarian ideas are the source of all evil. If libertarians had always run the country, there would be no roads, and we would all be dead from DDT.
Johnson's statements on education are ridiculous. A potential candidate should be looked at as a whole, not in terms of specific issues (unless you are a single issue voter).
I go on line this AM and find that Obama will be releasing his long form birth certificate. How will the Brithers spin this?
Not sure where to leave this comment. It's kind of in response to Joseph's continued interest in a new movement to boost the progressive brand.

Check out this democracy conference in Wisconsin this August:
Behind the libertarian rhetoric (and some true-believers) are the usual corporate power brokers (and not just Koch, but our old frineds in US/Europe oil and finance) who consistently hate government regulations and edgy unions.
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