Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Libertarians Vs The Religionist Fringe


Yesterday we took a little look at the battle raging inside the GOP through the prism of their own Autopsy Report and a little analysis of why the right-wing Austerity agenda is destroying the British Conservative Party even as Paul Ryan and John Boehner redouble their efforts to push an almost identical agenda on the American people. But as the new GOP impalement unfolds, we totally left out one other dynamic-- the one raging between the noisy, modernist libertarian wing of the party and the angry, hate-fueled religionist wing.

This week, E.J. Dionne pointed out that Rand Paul and his backers within the GOP "are quite right in seeing the rise of American power in the world as closely linked to the rise of the New Deal/Great Society state at home. But this means that those who want the United States to play a strong role in global affairs need to ask themselves if their attitudes toward government’s role inside our country, which are similar to Paul’s, are consistent with their vision of American influence abroad. After World War II, there was a rough consensus in America, confirmed during Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency in the 1950s, in favor of an energetic national government. We emerged from the war as a global power that had learned lessons from the Great Depression. Government action could lessen the likelihood of another disastrous economic downturn and build a more just and prosperous society at home by investing in our people and our future."

But on the fringes of the right-- think, for example, the Koch family's John Birch Society-- this national consensus was never accepted. Listen to the John Birch congressman from Georgia today, Paul Broun, or to the congressman from Koch Industries, Mike Pompeo, and you'll see that it still isn't. The rejectionist wing of the GOP is still fighting for dominance and Dionne points out that the Libertarians-- like the Birchers-- reject the whole thing. Paul told the CPAC audience last week that “As government grows, liberty becomes marginalized." So it is with some sense of irony that a fissure as wide as the Grand Canyon has opened up between the Libertarians and another group of extreme rejectionists, the religionist charlatans and their brain-dead, zombie like followers, in reality the biggest part of the electoral base of the Republican Party. Religious right spokesman, Bryan Fischer, is no fan of the Libertarians, even if he loves their anti-government agenda.
Pundits such as the atheist George Will have been celebrating what they see as a kind of resurgent libertarianism at last weekend’s CPAC, and virtually slobbering all over themselves, giddy with excitement that this represents the salvation of the Republican Party. It doesn’t.

Libertarianism has one sole redeeming political virtue and one only: it takes all those pesky moral issues like gay marriage, illegitimacy and drugs right off the table. Vote for me, cuz I’m for whatever floats your boat. It’s easy to see how this could appeal to some immature, inexperienced, narcissistic twenty-somethings, but it’s not an adult view of public life and will destroy any country which embraces it.

The Founders were decidedly not libertarians on moral and social issues. They were, as a matter of fact, libertarians on economic issues (low taxes, less regulation), and so should we be today. The view of the Founders was simple: economically libertarian, socially conservative. The tug right now is to pull the conservative movement out of its proper groove, championing moral restraint, hard work, marriage and family, into an anything-goes orbit which will send it flying off into deep space and oblivion.

We already have a party that is morally libertarian. If you want to see where moral libertarianism takes you, look at cities that have been run by Democrats for decades. They are places where nobody will ever hassle you about morally improper choices. If social libertarian ism worked, these cities should be paradise on earth. Anybody want to move to Detroit?

A mature approach to a nation’s politics is simple and straightforward, and it is the approach that energized and informed the Founders. It is this. Society is centered in the family. The ideal is for a man to reserve his sexual energies exclusively for marriage, and channel his sexual energies into that relationship, conceiving children with his wife out of their mutual love and commitment, bringing them into the world, and raising them to be responsible adults.

...Social libertarianism is ultimately a juvenile, even childish point of view. We need adults in the room, and that’s supposed to be the Republican Party. Time  to grow up, guys.
But... but... but... Rience's Autopsy report says the party is sinking because the voters identify them as a bunch of rich old white men.

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At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is making bets on a three way race in 2016?

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Bil said...

At least 3 ways.

I watched the Libertarian nominating convention one weekend last year and it made a lot more sense than the Republicant little tent.
But I don't think the Democraps can be too excited about what they have accomplished yet because of those mean old Republicants.
My problem with the Libertarians would be, NOT that they would cut taxes in a Recovery since ALL parties even Democraps do that now, but that if Beck or Rand Paul are Libertarians, then I am NOT.


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