Bernie Pushed Hillary Left … On the Wrong Issues


Sen. Bernie Sanders’ impact on the platform of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton really amounts to a worst case scenario for libertarians.

By:  Dan King

This article first appeared at Liberty.Me

If there was one good thing, from a libertarian perspective, that could have come out of Sanders’ campaign for president, it was that he could have pushed Clinton to the left on some issues that libertarians and progressives agree on.

While Sanders pushed Clinton to the left, it was on all the wrong issues. He successfully pushed her campaign to the left on a variety of economic issues, but in terms of criminal justice reform, foreign policy, drug policy and the surveillance state, he didn’t even nudge the Democratic nominee.

Sanders’ main focus throughout the primary season was on economic issues – something he and libertarians have nearly no common ground on. So, in an attempt to galvanize disaffected Sanderistas, Clinton moved her economic agenda to the left. She once favored free trade – something that made her tolerable – but she is now staunchly against it.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear Clinton is as eager to pick up Sanders’ more libertarian ideas.

Clinton, during her Democratic National Convention speech, made no mention of ending the War on Drugs or granting immunity to NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, only paid lip-service to criminal justice reform, and defended some of her past support for foreign interventions.

As a matter of fact, Clinton has actually said in the past that she would prosecute Snowden for revealing the fourth amendment abuses he revealed. During one of the first Democratic Debates, Clinton called for Snowden to be put on trial. Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee was actually the only Democrat in that debate to call Snowden a hero and say he should be welcomed back.

The furthest Clinton has gone on the Drug War is proposing moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II, so it can be “researched more.”

So, while the Sanders insurgency has Clinton rallying for increasing the minimum wage, expanding social security and offering free college, she hasn’t moved a tick on civil liberties and foreign policy.

This article first appeared at Liberty.Me