July 25, 2016

Bernie Bros and Gary Johnson

And so many Bernie Bros are turning to Gary Johnson. This phenomenon has already been discussed by some, and I've recently seen examples of it on Facebook.

I find this so surprising because it's not like Gary Johnson is Bernie-lite. Hillary is the Bernie-lite candidate in this election and Johnson, if anything, the anti-Bernie. For example, Johnson wants to eliminate corporate taxes and implement a national consumption tax, a move which would disproportionately benefit the wealthy at the expense of the poor and the elderly. Johnson has proposed that he would balance the budget by implementing massive spending cuts to programs that primarily benefit the vulnerable, including Medicare and Medicaid. And he would raise the Social Security retirement age to as high as 72.

Johnson is liberal on some social issues, but so is Hillary, and it wasn't social issues that animated Bernie Bros in the first place. It was Bernie's economic message, and the more you learn about Johnson, the more you realize that he's against every jot and every tittle of this message. He's favorite political philosopher is Milton Friedman. He's said he would sign the Trans Pacific Partnership into law. He supports right-to-work laws. And although he admits that global warming is anthropogenic, he doesn't believe the government should take action to reduce carbon emissions.

And so here is more evidence that Bernie Revolution was perhaps not such a large step forward for progressive ideas but in many ways a personality cult. Look, I think Bernie's a true champion of the people, and I think many of his supporters really care about the issues. But these Libertarian-flirting Bernie Bros are a confused mess.

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