While the Trump phenomenon has provided both revulsion and hilarity and Rand Paul has mostly delivered frustration, the Bernie Sanders campaign has filled me with more than a little bit of nostalgia, as well as empathy for those who do not share my political beliefs. If nothing else, Bernie’s 2016 bid has let me feel what it was like to be outside of Ron Paul’s happy little revolution of 2008 and 2012.

Broadly speaking, Bernie Sanders’s campaign shares many similarities to Ron Paul’s quixotic yet galvanizing bids for the presidency. The passion and idealism Bernie supporters demonstrate, as well as their frustration over the lack of respect he gets in the media, strongly echoes the Paulbots of recent memory. And on the other side, the mix of smug dismissals and sometimes fearful polemics against Sanders from both conservatives and libertarians has quite a lot in common with the virulent attacks the Paul campaign withstood.

So why am I not participating in this latest Revolution? Is it simply because I am part of the libertarian tribe and not part of the liberal progressive tribe? Can even people outside of the left-right paradigm still fall into the trappings of partisanship?

To a degree yes, it is true that I have a knee-jerk reaction against positive inflections of the word socialist. Yet in spite of this, the fact that Bernie Sanders has any ideology at all is something I can definitely respect.

In what has been an intellectually vacuous campaign thus far, it’s refreshing to have someone who can articulately state his views on the role of government. This is not only in contrast to the Trump dominated right side of the spectrum, but also compares well with Hilary Clinton, who prefers to frame her big government views as merely pragmatic, more about the doing the “right thing,” however she defines it.

The problem I have is the belief that government is largely responsible for most of the problems that Sanders and his supporters hope to solve. But I also believe that libertarians and Bernie supporters have more or less the same goal, which is to foster a more prosperous, more free and less authoritarian society.

Based on my own first and second-hand experiences, liberals and libertarians tend to reach a predictable impasse, despite agreeing on many things. In most libertarians’ view, liberals, progressives and card carrying Democrats are just too trusting of government’s ability to solve societal problems and are not suspicious enough of the state’s inherent power.

Meanwhile liberals, even those sympathetic to libertarianism, seem to find libertarians far too trusting of capitalism’s ability to solve societal problems and are not suspicious enough of corporations’ ability to empower a ruling class.

It’s here where liberals do have a point and where Bernie gets most of his political ammunition. One can take issue with the semantics of 99% vs 1% rhetoric, but Bernie Sanders and the Occupy movement that preceded him are in fact direct responses to the very real problem of corporate power bending political power to their will.

It’s therefore important for defenders of free enterprise to make clear that we are not defending the corporatist status quo. The capitalism we defend is actual free markets and not “casino capitalism,” as Bernie likes to call our distorted economic system.

So is Sanders an imperfect but effective vehicle to attack this status quo? Sadly I remain unconvinced, at least as long as he continues to propose solving these problems by increasing political control over the economy, a trend that has attracted corporate interests like moths to a beaming light.

But libertarians ought to admit that things could be worse if he does manage to outdo the Ron Paul Revolution and reach the promised land of power. At least we’ll have a guy willing to say sensible things regarding foreign policy and who may even chip away at prohibition. And if his democratic socialist economic views are actually sincere, then maybe opposition to those ideas can at least be framed as a good faith intellectual disagreement, rather than a shrill argument over which side wants to send America back to the stone age.

But I wouldn’t count on it.