Will Paulistas Follow Comrade Sanders?
It isn’t a completely insane notion that some people will find Bernie Sanders appealing for the same reason they did Ron Paul: he is an outsider within his own party, trying to push it in a direction that it generally doesn’t want to go. He isn’t afraid to speak his mind. And on foreign policy, Ron and Bernie may have quite a bit in common (and me with them).
But let us make no mistake: Ron Paul is a champion of liberty. Bernie Sanders is an enemy of liberty. The differences between them are unfortunate but real. I say they are unfortunate because Ron Paul and the Austrian School from which he derives his economic ideas are opposed to the very policies and institutions that make the entrenchment of big business possible – the same thing Sanders and those like him would also like to prevent. The difference lies in perspective; Ron Paul understands that a perfectly laissez-faire economy would make it impossible for any business to maintain dominance over the market or society.
It is when businesses can rely upon easy money and cheap credit from the Federal Reserve, when they can depend upon politicians to pass tariffs and grant subsidies or pass regulations that make it difficult or impossible for competitors to challenge them, when they can hide behind onerous intellectual property laws to stifle innovative competitors, when they can expect massive bailouts that would never have been available to them in a free economy – in short, when they can rely on left-wing suckers to grant them everything they want in the name of fairness and equality – that they establish themselves as the lords of society. Politics, coercion, and forced redistribution grant corporations power that a free economy would never have granted them.
I don’t doubt Bernie Sanders’ sincerity. I believe that he believes he is a champion of the working man and the enemy of big business. But anyone who understood even a little what Ron Paul was all about could never lend their support to his campaign. Sanders stands for the limitless expansion of state power over our economic lives. Ron Paul stands for the individual’s right to as much as he can acquire through legitimate and honest work. The corporations that both men oppose would be weakened by liberty, and easily able to afford whatever regulations Sanders would impose upon them.
Economics aside, Sanders doesn’t appear to have any love for the 1st amendment rights of conservative Christians or the 2nd amendment rights of all American citizens either. I can’t imagine he is a strong proponent of the 10th amendment either. Ron Paul was pro-life, viewing the right to life as the foundation of liberty. Sanders is an unapologetic abortion supporter. I could go on, but I promised to keep these short and I will.