Last week, the Libertarian Party announced that Michael Badnarik, a computer programmer from Texas, will be their 2004 Presidential candidate. “If I can win the nomination, there’s no reason I can’t win this election,” said Badnarkik, obviously unaware of the LP’s track record in Presidential races.
While I personally admire Badnarik’s clueless optimism, other bloggers aren’t as impressed. Jon Henke from QandO is particularly disappointed with the choice (“Badnarik is exactly the sort of person that gives Libertarians a reputation as fringe-dwelling nuts.”) and Captain Ed argues that the LP has proven that it won’t be posing a threat to the two-party system anytime soon.
While I respect their opinions, I think they’re being too harsh. The LP has some well argued policy positions that are worthy of a closer look. Take, for example, Badnarik position on the “War on Drugs”:
Children take drugs because criminals actively sell them. Criminals sell drugs because they are astronomically profitable. Drugs are highly profitable only because they are illegal. The Libertarian solution is to decriminalize drugs, which will make drugs extremely cheap, which will remove the profit motivation for selling drugs, which will result in fewer children taking drugs.
If this solution will work for street drugs then it should work for prescription drugs as well. In fact, we can just replace the words “children”, “criminals”, and “drugs” with “sick people”, “pharmacists”, and “prescription drugs” to get a Libertarian solution for the prescription drug problem:
Sick people take prescription drugs because pharmacists actively sell them. Pharmacists sell drugs because they are astronomically profitable. Prescription drugs are highly profitable only because they are illegal. The Libertarian solution is to decriminalize prescription drugs, which will make prescription drugs extremely cheap, which will remove the profit motivation for selling prescription drugs, which will result in fewer sick people taking prescription drugs.
I think the Libertarian Party is on to something here. If we would just make prescription drugs legal they would soon become so cheap that no one would want them anymore. No one want cheap drugs, especially sick people and children. We could just give them to all those sick people in Africa. (If the South Americans send their drugs to us then we should be able to ship ours to another continent too.)
With brilliant policy solutions like this, it makes you wonder why the Libertarian Party has never won the Presidency.