Libertarians should embrace Jeremy Corbyn – and not just because he’s unelectable

Following an hour-long televised debate, Jeremy Corbyn emerged as the surprise favourite for next Labour leader amongst the party’s grassroots. The 66 year old MP for Islington North is a darling of the Labour left, relying heavily on their online campaign to get him on the ballot in the first place. Though he remains unlikely to win the contest, his presence should be regarded as a positive development for libertarians and lefties alike.

The traditional right-wing argument for supporting Corbyn is simple. He won’t win the 2020 General Election, and now that the Labour Party has introduced a way for non-members to vote in the leadership contest, the Right can elect Corbyn as leader. Such is the potential of the ‘#ToriesForCorbyn’ strategy that there is serious discussion about how much it would cost for the Conservative Party to ‘buy’ the next election. However, libertarians should welcome Corbyn’s leadership campaign for reasons beyond the fact he will never secure a Labour majority.

First and foremost, Corbyn is staunchly pro-immigration. In both the recent TV debate and in Parliament, he has repeatedly emphasised the economic and social contributions made by immigrants to Britain. Having such a vocal defender of immigration as candidate for leadership of the UK’s second largest political party is great news for libertarians, who can disregard Corbyn’s support for a planned economy whilst capitalising on freedom of movement inching into the Overton Window.

Secondly, Corbyn has spent much of his political career campaigning against military interventionism. Inspired by a universal (rather than nationalistic) outlook, his views on foreign policy sound awfully libertarian:

I argue for a different type of foreign policy based on political and not military solutions; on genuine internationalism that recognises that all human life is precious, no matter what nationality…

Corbyn’s position as potential leader of the Labour Party means that he is perfectly placed to put anti-interventionism at the centre of the political agenda. If by some miracle he actually became leader of the Labour Party, the effectiveness of his pro-immigration, anti-war message would be magnified significantly. That he is even running is something to be welcomed by libertarians.

Top-Tier GOP Candidates Recognize the Importance of Expanding Legal Immigration System

Despite the common misidentification of the GOP as the anti-immigrant party, top Republican candidates for 2016 are coalescing around one important aspect of reform: expansion of legal immigration.

Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Lindsay Graham, and former governors Jeb Bush and Rick Perry have all voiced support for expanding the number of foreign workers in the country. While some have argued that these candidates are at odds with the party’s base, a new report by the Niskanen Center offers a different picture.

GOP voters strongly support legal immigrants. Surveying all national polls from 2001 to 2014 on the question of whether the country should admit more foreign workers, the report found that 60 percent of Republican voters supported increasing the number of work visas.

Read the rest on the Niskanen Center here.

Donald Trump’s Immigration Position Is as Fringe as His Campaign

Donald Trump used his presidential announcement yesterday to stake out the most extreme immigration position of any candidate, claiming that immigration has made America a “dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.” Maybe the billionaire casino mogul thinks this line is the path to victory, but he’s wrong.

Today’s America is simply not the America Trump grew up in. For most of his lifetime, a plurality, if not a majority, of Americans favored restricting immigration. But since 1995, support for restriction has dropped 30 percent, according to Gallup polls. Those who want to increase or maintain the current level of immigration are now nearly 60 percent of the public.

Despite the headlines, the GOP is not the anti-immigrant party Trump would like it to be. The Niskanen Center recently conducted a comprehensive analysis of all national polls from 2001 to 2014 that asked respondents if they support or oppose increasing work visas. Americans on average supported foreign workers, 56 percent to 34 percent.

Read the rest on the Niskanen Center here.