Kevin Drum noticed that polling shows there are a fairly significant number of Sanders voters who are saying they prefer to vote for Gary Johnson over Clinton. He thought it was worthwhile to list some of Johnson's policy positions:
In one sense, this is easy to understand. Johnson favors legalization of marijuana. He's good on civil liberties and wants to cut way back on overseas military interventions. He's moderate on immigration. He's pro-choice and supports gay rights. There are plenty of things for Bernie supporters to like about him.
On the other hand, Johnson is a libertarian. Here's a smattering of what else he believes:
- He supports TPP.
- He supports fracking.
- He opposes any federal policies that would make college more affordable or reduce student debt. In fact, he wants to abolish student loans entirely.
- He thinks Citizens United is great.
- He doesn't want to raise the minimum wage. At all.
- He favors a balanced-budget amendment and has previously suggested that he would slash federal spending 43 percent in order to balance the budget. This would require massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and social welfare programs of all kinds.
- He opposes net neutrality.
- He wants to increase the Social Security retirement age to 75 and he's open to privatization.
- He opposes any kind of national health care and wants to repeal Obamacare.
- He opposes practically all forms of gun control.
- He opposes any kind of paid maternity or medical leave.
- He supported the Keystone XL pipeline.
- He opposes any government action to address climate change.
- He wants to cut the corporate tax rate to zero.
- He appears to believe that we should reduce financial regulation. All we need to do is allow big banks to fail and everything will be OK.
- He wants to remove the Fed's mandate to maximize employment and has spoken favorably of returning to the gold standard.
- He wants to block-grant Medicare and turn it over to the states.
- He wants to repeal the 16th Amendment and eliminate the income tax, the payroll tax, and the estate tax. He would replace it with a 28 percent FairTax that exempts the poor. This is equivalent to a 39 percent sales tax, and it would almost certainly represent a large tax cut for the rich.
His position on choice, by the way, is that it's up to the states. So your "personal freedom" is subject to whatever yahoos in the state capitol decide it is i you're a woman. But hey, whatever. People feel differently about fundamental human rights in different parts of the country so we shouldn't force them to acknowledge those they think are icky. But other than that he's a real civil liberties champion.