Probably the two most interesting characters so far in the presidential race are Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.
I don’t like the political positions of either one, but I am glad they are in the race, at least for the most part. I will qualify that statement in that I don’t expect either of them to win.
Bernie Sanders is a self-indentified socialist. He is absolutely abysmal when it comes to economics. He either sounds like a totalitarian or a 6-year old. Sometimes he sounds like both at the same time.
His economic positions are incoherent. Yet, scarily, he has an audience. I understand that people are fed up with the rich getting richer. If it is because of government handouts, or government regulation, or central banking, then I too oppose the rich getting richer. They should be getting richer in a free market by serving customers what they want.
But Bernie Sanders doesn’t emphasize the corporate welfare and government favoritism. He emphasizes his plans to redistribute wealth. He is anti-capitalist to the bone. He will tell you that you don’t need a choice of 23 different deodorants or 18 different pairs of sneakers.
Sanders thinks that by limiting your choice of deodorants or shoes that it will somehow feed the hungry people.
Sanders is on the far left, supposedly. He is certainly better on foreign policy than all of the other current candidates. Since that tends to be the issue that the president has the most control over, maybe a President Sanders wouldn’t be that bad, particularly if the Congress could block his economic agenda.
Sanders is very disappointing for a supposed leftist on the federal drug war. He basically says it isn’t that big of an issue. He should tell that to the hundreds of thousands of “criminals” who have not hurt anybody or threatened to hurt anybody.
Sanders will be fun in the primaries because he can challenge Hillary Clinton, who is a war promoter. She won’t be quite as enthusiastic about war in the Democratic primaries, but I think her record speaks for itself. Remember that she originally supported the Iraq war in 2002/ 2003 before it became unpopular.
I hope that Sanders gives Hillary a really hard time on foreign policy.
In the Republican primaries, the number of major candidates is ridiculous. I guess there are that many people who seek power to rule over others.
I thought Rand Paul would be the most interesting candidate. He is the closest thing to a libertarian, but still really far away. He has very little in common with his father, politically speaking. Rand Paul continues to promote his interventionist positions. They may be slightly less harsh than the other candidates, but they are still bad.
Then Donald Trump stepped in. He has stolen the spotlight from everyone else – for better or for worse. He continues to get in trouble for his controversial statements. Most of the Republican candidates are ganging up on him. It seems that only Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are taking a more quiet position on him.
Trump is disrupting the Republican establishment. For this, I am glad he is in the race. I hope he too challenges the other candidates in the debates.
One fear I have is that he will be driven out of the Republican Party and he will run as an independent. It may hand a golden ticket to the White House for Hillary Clinton, much the same way her husband got in via Ross Perot. About half the country really dislikes Hillary Clinton. Her only good chance at getting elected is having a third-party candidate in the race who siphons off votes from the Republicans.
Of course, many of the Republican candidates are just as scary as Hillary. We don’t really know what we are going to get until they actually have the power to do damage.
The other fear I have with Trump is that he actually gets elected. He is arrogant and quite totalitarian. He enjoyed saying “You’re fired!” on his show The Apprentice.
I really don’t know how Trump would be as president, but there is something unsettling about him. I could see him basically trying to act as a dictator.
It’s too bad, because there are things I like and admire about Trump. He is a very successful businessman, despite his terrible economics. He probably should have stayed in the so-called private sector, continuing to please customers and making more money.
All of the candidates are a disaster at this point, at least from a libertarian perspective. I don’t know who the Libertarian Party will put up as a presidential candidate. I think the only person who could make this race more interesting at this point is Jesse Ventura.
Because of Trump and Sanders, I may actually watch some of the debates. If anything, they should add entertainment value.