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By Paul Meekin
One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team. – Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Mark Cuban tends to be my kind of Billionaire. He’s a tech pioneer, sports fan, intelligent, has a jaw-line you can set you watch too, and tends to advocate for some of the “libertarian agenda.”
Also Shark Tank is pretty awesome.
But is Mark Cuban a libertarian? Well, no. In recent comments made at a South By Southwest Festival Panel, Cuban stated he’s a libertarian at heart, but believes “some” healthcare should be federally provided, and there are some protections the government should provide its citizens.
“At heart I’m a libertarian,” he said. In 2015 he elaborated on the thought – “…I’d like to be libertarian,” The Business Insider reported. “When I think libertarian, it’s ‘as small of a government as we can get, right now — you just cut right through it and you make it [smaller] right now.”
“That’s not real. There’s got to be a process. There’s got to be a transition. As a country, we make decisions. We make decisions that we’re going to provide healthcare, right? We don’t just let people die on the street. You can go into any hospital and they have to treat you.” The Business Insider reported.
He continued: “You can’t cure every ill with a government program. I literally would rather write a check: Take whatever money is in a given department in the government, take 25% off the top, put it back in the taxpayers’ pockets, and then just give cash to people, right? Because it’ll be more effective in how it’s used and help the economy at the same time,”
I can get behind that. I am of the mind that providing people healthcare, only to rip it away a few years later is cruel and unusual. But I also understand the Obamacare system is topsy turvey and unsustainable.
Based on his comments about healthcare, you might say Mark Cuban is a “faux” libertarian, and that’s fine. I say he’s an ally. He wants what libertarians want, but has serious questions and serious concerns about how to get there. Concerns which should not be mocked, they should be addressed.
Keep in mind it is the methodology of the “regressive left” to exclude and shame you if you’re not lock-step with their platform.
I would hope Libertarians are a bit more…evolved, or open minded. Or at least happy to take the man’s money if we get the right presidential candidate. The last thing libertarians needs is an insular ideology. We should accept help and support from anywhere we can. Cuban disagrees with most libertarians on healthcare? That’s fine. Libertarians disagree with Bernie Sanders on everything, but I would hope we’d be willing to work with him regarding lowering the cost of prescription medication.
Libertarians have their feet in two worlds and thus have a hard time making friends and an easier time making enemies. Ripping healthcare away from millions of Americans isn’t a fun topic at lefty parties. The libertarian ideal of letting any two people get marriage benefits (or having them at all) probably isn’t a fun discussion to have at CPAC. Hell… get 7 libertarians in a room and ask them about abortion and see what happens.
My point is- just because someone isn’t totally onboard with the beliefs of your party, doesn’t make them a fake or a phony or somehow an enemy. Will Mark Cuban ever wear a “taxation is theft” t-shirt? Probably not.
Will Mark Cuban vote for a man or woman who wears one? Based on his history? Stranger things have happened.