As we’re currently seeing more and more updates on the presidential election, one particular factor comes to mind when it comes to the Democratic race: Bernie Sanders getting a lot of support (especially from Millennials). Sure, the promises of free stuff sounds like a good deal if you are a hardcore leftist, but on both the conservative and Libertarian point of view, there are several huge issues when it comes to seeing Bernie Sanders as the possible frontrunner of the Democratic ticket.

First, as I’ve said before in several of my other column entries where I criticized people like Bernie Sanders and socialism in general, there is no such thing as “free” when it comes to the propositions of free college, healthcare and other things that people who want our country to embrace socialism are demanding for. The money for all these “free” things is going to come from the taxpayers, who will see a grand hike if people like Sanders get their way.

Now, for those who will say, “But, he’ll tax the rich! The rich will be forced to pay more! Bernie said he’ll make sure that will happen,” here’s the problem. Would Bernie Sanders (who has been a mayor, a congressman for Vermont’s at-large district, and a current Senator for a total of 39 years, and has a total of three houses) pay more taxes under any type of socialist law that he would pass in a heartbeat? No, because from each country that fully embraced socialism, the rich and the politically powerful let the poor get poorer as well as completely eliminated certain economical classes. Under him as president, we would see the elimination of the middle class, and a lot more poor people for the rich and powerful like him to boot and laugh at.

Finally, and this is not too surprising for those who are against him, Sanders has admitted his long time love of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro time and time again, saying that he praised the revolution caused by the communists in Cuba while bashing the administration of John F. Kennedy. Why on earth would anyone want to support a man who calls the 46-year-long dictatorship of Fidel Castro something to be admired? This is no different than someone highly praising Adolf Hitler for killing millions of people due to them being Jewish. When your candidate praises the work of dictators like Castro and Hitler, and you still support him because he calls the current administration a dictatorship, then you need to rethink your morals and beliefs because you would be endorsing the killing of citizens for their political beliefs as well as allowing your rights as an American citizen to be taken away.

In all honesty, Bernie Sanders would lead our great country downward until it’s nothing if he ever becomes president. The last thing we need is for that to happen. I, a staunch Libertarian who believes in protecting our rights given to us by our Founding Fathers, DO NOT want to see a tarnished America under a socialist regime that is led by a hypocritical rich man who praises the works of a dictator. I WANT this country to remain the liberty-loving, free-market-endorsing land of opportunity for everyone that I know and love!

Nolan Schmidt is an independent filmmaker, and serves as the County Chair for the Guadalupe County Libertarian Party.

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