Will Bernie Sanders’ Voters Go Libertarian?

The short answer is a resounding “NO.” Here’s the longer answer straight from the mouths of dozens of Berners on Facebook on July 24, 2016. The question is “would you vote Libertarian?”

Karen W. – Libertarians are just republicans with a twist.

Carol V. – They are Twizzler Republicans. They are the worst of republicans. Richer guy beats the lesser rich guy! Hey, if you aren’t wealthy, with them in power, then change isn’t coming your way. Well, I guess you could get poorer!

libertarian platform
Chart comparing Bernie Sanders’ progressive stands and Gary Johnson’s libertarian stands (meme from the Bernie Believers group on Facebook)

Tom R. – They are Republicans that don’t want to be associated with all of the baggage. I’m going to vote for Bernie if he’s on the ballot but if he isn’t I’m voting Green. Not because I think they’ll win and not because I agree with them on most issues, I’m voting Green to send a message to the Democrats and to try to break the two-party tyranny.

 Raven H. –  Libertarians are literally Republicans… They’re against everything Bernie stands for. Why would you even ask that?
 Alice A. –  “If we boil down the libertarian ideology to its fundamentals, they essentially believe that we should have as minimal government as possible. Government protections of civil rights? Zip. Government regulations of large, unsustainable financial institutions that have already wreaked havoc on our economy? Nope. Government policies that preserve the environment and protect our natural resources? Zilch.”
 Ellen L. – They also eliminate environmental laws
Dakota R.Libertarians don’t believe in taxation… Which is cool and all, but that’s public roads, bridges and highways, law enforcement, public schools, national parks, the post office, hospitals and healthcare, the fire department, congress, the CIA, FBI, the president, etc…

And we kinda need some of those things. 

Eva W. – Oh, HAIL no! They are Republicans on steroids.

Lorrene B. – No way, I’m going Green, I saw Johnson in a town hall meeting, didn’t like his ideas at all

 Laura R. – No Gary Johnson is not a progressive, and doesn’t concern himself with infrastructure or SS or Medicare
Pamela C. – Not even closely related to progressives. Yechhh!

Ruth A. – While many Libertarian “values” may seem appealing, the Libertarian Party of the U.S. is a corporatist party in disguise. Please do more research. They defend Citizens United. They are for the TPP. The Libertarian party is very dangerous. They would burn the world to the ground in defense of the “liberty” to go after profit.
Shelley L. – Not me. He’s for the TPP. Bernie wouldn’t approve and neither do I.
Tom R. – God, Not me! Gary Johnson is worse than Trump!
Theresa Ann A. – NO! It’s nothing like Bernie ideology!
Christine L. – Libertarians don’t believe in taxation but neither does the top one-tenth of the 1% and look where that got us
Paul Michael B. – The Libertarian party is a neoliberal party just like the D’s and the R’s, and thus represent the very root of our problems. Libertarians salivate over the idea of corporations suing governments.
This is my favorite answer out of the batch:
Stephanie F. – Hell no! How could any real Progressive even consider that. They’re Republicans, possibly worse. Libertarians have no foreign policy. It’s basically, “Sucks to be you, not our problem.” Johnson wants to get rid of Medicaid. He could give a crap about environmental issues or infrastructure, so no money would go to those places. Also, Libertarians don’t believe in taxation so there wouldn’t be any money to go anywhere. They’re all for private corporations building wealth, and getting rid of all government oversight of them. Capitalism unchecked isn’t worth crap! I would vote Green Party before I’d ever vote for a Republican or Libertarian. Jill Stein is an intelligent, progressive, environmentally conscious free-thinker, who isn’t owned by lobbyists. She’ll probably get my vote if Bernie’s not on the ballot.
Lee O. – Why? Deregulate and privatize everything. Why the hell would anyone contemplate supporting that?
Erik O. – Are you high, the libertarian USA are nothing more than parasites
Melissa C. – Nope, no libertarians for me. I care about workers.
Joy H.  Gary Johnson is mostly for everything Bernie is against.
He wants to deregulate everything (food safety standards, environmental protections, social security), abolishment of the tax system. It’s a really, really bad idea; more extreme than the mainstream Republican platform.
Justin L. – Why libertarian? It’s the Koch Brothers’ brain child and while Johnson holds to some liberal social issues, his economic policy is Republican; that is to say, outrageously horrible and broken.

Shane K. – If you’re a libertarian you never understood Bernie’s message. We are progressives.

Zarra H. – Libertarian is about 100% opposite most of Bernie’s philosophy and also mine.


2 thoughts on “Will Bernie Sanders’ Voters Go Libertarian?

  1. heytoto August 11, 2016 / 4:15 am

    Let’s not forget that the Koch brothers are Libertarians! There’s not much of an intersection between Progressives and Libertarians, if any.

  2. John de Clef Pineiro October 16, 2016 / 1:37 am


    On Social Security, Gary Johnson is, in effect, a smooth-talking Republican in Libertarian clothing, who would privatize Social Security, would raise the retirement age, would require means testing, and would eliminate payroll contributions to no longer make Social Security an “earned benefit.” (See http://2016.presidential-candidates.org/Johnson/?on=social-security)

    Indeed, Gary Johnson is an outright corporatist (haven’t we had enough of them?), who, not only accepts corporate funding, but he is FOR Big Money in politics by favoring the Citizens United decision. (See http://2016election.procon.org/view.answers.election.php?questionID=002022#gary-johnson)

    This dyed-in-the-wool conservative is also FOR the TPP. (See http://independentpoliticalreport.com/2016/06/gary-johnson-now-supports-tpp/)

    Johnson is also not against fracking. (See http://2016election.procon.org/view.answers.election.php?questionID=2099)

    On single-payer healthcare, Johnson is in the pocket of the private for-profit health insurance market and believes that “government cannot create a system that will reduce costs while increasing access.” (See https://ballotpedia.org/2016_presidential_candidates_on_healthcare)

    Johnson would CUT Medicare and Medicaid. (See http://www.westernjournalism.com/gary-johnson-grabs-the-gops-third-rail-cutting-military-spending/)

    In fact, Gary Johnson is a radical right-wing corporatist libertarian on many (or even most) issues that matter the most to everyday Americans. And no progressive or Bernie supporters can even recognize anything worth salvaging about a wingnut that advocates the following.

    Here are many of his publicly-stated wacko positions on the issues:

    • I view government in the same way as philosopher Ayn Rand. (Aug 2012)
    • Long unemployment benefits postpones dealing with problem. (May 2011)
    • Vetoed raising minimum wage from $4.25/hour to $5.65. (Jul 2011)
    • Raise the retirement age to 70 or 72. (Aug 2012)
    • A portion of Social Security ought to be privatized. (Aug 2012)
    • Open to personal accounts for Social Security. (Jul 2011)
    • Don’t require insurers to provide birth control. (May 2012)
    • No federal funding for stem cell research. (Jan 2012)
    • Cut federal budget by 43% to bring it into balance. (Feb 2012)
    • Eliminate corporate tax. (May 2011)
    • Get rid of income tax and capital-gains tax. (Feb 2012)
    • 23% national sales tax while eliminating the IRS. (May 2012)
    • Vetoed early release of prisoners due to overcrowding. (Aug 2012)
    • Vetoed hate crime legislation as thought-crime. (Aug 2012)
    • Vouchers OK for church childcare & church schools. (Aug 2012)
    • Give every student in New Mexico vouchers worth $3,500. (Jul 2011)
    • Abolish Departments of Education and HUD. (Aug 2011)
    • No student loans; they cause higher tuition. (Nov 2011)
    • Supports nuclear power. (Aug 2011)
    • NAFTA benefits New Mexico; jobs lost are those we don’t want. (Jan 2001)
    • Eliminate needless barriers to free trade. (May 2011)
    • Laws regarding guns are ineffective. (May 2011)
    • Government-managed healthcare is insanity. (Aug 2012)
    • ObamaCare is unconstitutional (Aug 2011)
    • Repeal ObamaCare (May 2011)
    • Governments don’t create jobs–businesses do. (Feb 2012)

    For additional Gary Johnson positions see http://www.ontheissues.org/Gary_Johnson.htm

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