How Rand Paul Can Best Bernie Sanders

July 2, 2015 at 2:15 pm (tWP) (, , , , , )

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There is plenty wrong with America and the need for reform is indeed urgent. Given the scope of the recent financial crisis, Senator Sanders makes a good point about learning from the past and regulating Wall Street – Glass Stiegel would for one bring some measure of stability.

One can also identify with Bernie Sanders’s appeals for a more moderate and restrained foreign policy, given the blunders of the interventionists in the past years.

That said, the rest of his agenda is in fact quite dangerous for the US because when it comes to economic policies, Senator Sanders would be repeating the mistakes of Europe and setting America for decades of stagnation.

Mr Sanders denounces the encroached special interests in the Washington establishment – which is common knowledge – but fails monumentally to address the liberal special interests which are equally encroached, such as the trade unions, or the many other instances of federal subsidisation. What is his position on Common Core and the imposition of Federal laws and subsidy-bribery by Washington?

On these matters, Rand Paul is much more of an outlier: yes, he does not hesitate to attack the Democrats on interventionist policies be they in foreign policy or social subsidies, but he also attacks his own party on the military industrial complex and the war on drugs. If the young can be swayed by an integrity contest, Paul is much better placed to win it.

However, perhaps the most dangerous policies of which Sanders is a proponent, are the economy and immigration.

The Senator from Vermont, as most socialists in the world, lives obsessed with Scandinavia. In fact, Scandinavia is used as a role model by both the Left and the Right but this is a very dangerous example to use. Not only because it is not the socialist paradise many believe it is but also because the strength of the Nordics is not in their specific policies or legislation but on their culture and mentality.

The Nordics are strict in applying regulations but it is also true that their societies are some of the most open in the world and far from the protectionist dream leftists imagine it to be. It is not a coincidence that fugitives like Julian Assange end up in Sweden or some of the highest incidence of firearm violence in Europe is found in Finland.

With the highest incidences of atheism in the world, ethnically homogeneous Scandinavia displays few parallel bonds between the individual and the state. The relatively small dimension of the populations and territories assures their export economies are nimble at adapting to world trends.

None of this can be reproduced in America. WASPs are fairly diverse but with African-Americans and Hispanics it would always be problematic to reach such high production and low corruption levels as those in Nordic economies.

This leads to the final point: immigration. The scores of tens of millions settling in the US for the past decade or two, come not from similar productive cultures but mostly from Mexico and Latin America, ensuring that the WASP features which made the American economy so competitive are bound to diminish in the future. Worse still taking into account that all the violence and welfare expenses which will have to be deducted from the inflow of dissimilar migrants. Bernie Sanders however, sees no evil in amnesty after amnesty, in what amounts to basically wide open borders.

Bernie-Sanders-coverHis capability for empirical analysis is hampered by Liberal dogma, in learning from Europe’s problems with immigrants or even just America’s. Is he oblivious to home-grown terrorism by Islamists in Europe? To outright separatism in the case of situations such as Kosovo or Quebec? Does he happen to believe that Amerindians subsidisation made Canada more competitive?…

There is however one aspect where Sanders has the upper hand in relation to Paul. America is an idea-nation and Sanders is prepared to be more populist and ideological than Rand Paul. He can tap into Americans’ self-perception as a chosen and exceptional people. Senator Paul, on the other hand, has only the most efficient policies. In politics – especially in ideological empires – perception trumps reality more often than not…

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