Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Sunday, June 22, 2014

True Story

Last night, a former student of mine commented on a post on Facebook from the Cato Institute about marriage equality.  This brought it into my FB feed.  So, I looked through the thread.

Now, presumably people who normally get posts from Cato would describe themselves as Libertarian.  So, presumably the majority of people commenting in the thread would describe themselves as Libertarian.

Yet what was fascinating was how theocratic the thread was. Cato came out roughly in support of marriage equality because that's consistent with libertarian thought.  The thread was populated by people who were saying that America was a Christian nation, inspired by Christian thought.  There were a few people with just messed up interpretations of the Constitution (state's rightists, mostly).  But most were making moral and religious judgments.

Personally, I can think of nothing less compatible than theocrats and libertarians.  Yet apparently quite a few theocrats are supporters of Cato.

The rancor of the theocrats towards the Cato post shows the fragility of the old Reagan Coalition.  Not only are the various constituents of that coalition getting older and proportionally smaller, but some are also coming to see the contradictions in their mutual support for a GOP agenda that doesn't serve their ends.

For years, it was the Wall Street Republicans and Neocons enlisting the votes of the Theocrats and Libertarians and then rarely following through on their promises.  The clearest change that the Tea Party created was to empower the Theocratic/States Rightist wing of the GOP.  They are now in the driver's seat.

Rand Paul might be the most dangerous candidate for the Democrats in 2016, not because he's a good politician.  I think his political skills are pretty average to below average.  But because he represents the Libertarian wing of the party that is ONLY outreach the GOP has to younger voters.

Hillary Clinton is a poor outreach to the glibetarian youth for a number of reasons.

But if the GOP nominates a Theocrat - and I would guess that they will - the fault lines between those Libertarians who support legalized pot and marriage equality will find it hard to continue to support a party whose head and heart reside firmly in the 1950s.

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