Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Libertarianism vs Social Conservatism

I'm a Libertarian. And I'm a Social Conservative. There are a lot of parts of the Social Conservative bit I will die for. Other parts, I just say, "meh." And I don't think I'm the only Social Conservative who thinks this way.

1) Abortion: this is a human life in every instance and there's no chance I'll bend even a millimeter. I frame this as a human rights issue, not a moral one. The fetus is what? an animal? a tumor? a human without rights? a human with rights? Answer the question.

I'm not against stem cell research, either. I'm all for it unless you add the word "fetal." Fetal stem cell research by my way of looking at it is cannibalizing parts of one human for the benefit of another human. If you disagree, prove to me that a fetus isn't a human.

2) Sex, drugs, and rock & roll: meh. Who you take to bed is your business and not mine. If God says "thou shalt not," and you think otherwise, that's your problem with Him not me. Don't mess with the sacraments of any church or say what moral standards the church can't hold and we'll get along fine.

3) Prayer in school: meh. When I was a lad, my sainted mother the separatist Baptist Fundamentalist that she was thoroughly disapproved of the sort of compromised blended ecumenist prayers bandied about in public forums. That rubbed off on me.

Creationism and Intelligent Design (they are different things). I want free inquiry about questions of origins, but it's not a hill I'll die on. If you're upset that some state school wants to teach Darwinism, switch to a private school that doesn't.

Personally, I prefer the separation of school and state. Less opportunity for indoctrination or similar mischief.


Can we agree on these boundaries and live together in the same party? I think so. Maybe we won't go to the same church, or maybe we'll bicker on a personal level, but as far as the civil realm of governance is concerned we've got issues of the proper role of government (minimal) that we hold in common to unite us.

What would Reagan Do?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Broken Party

OK, I held my nose and voted for McCain. We've had a systemic problem with Republicanism for several years. The Republican party has demonstrated in the last two elections that it is broken. After the 2006 loss there was not enough done to fix the party. Why didn't the party leadership take a delivery from the clue train?

I'm not thinking we should kick anyone out of the party, but we've got to be smarter about who we're listening to. Ronald Reagan is dead. We need someone else who can speak articulately to small businessmen and libertarians and values voters without embarrassing the country-club set.

I think that we've seen country-club presidential candidates in both Bushes, Dole, and McCain. The civil war within the Republican Party is about to start. Mitt Romney strikes me as yet another country-club candidate. The bizarre whispers that Sarah Palin was a drag on the campaign or that she had "gone rogue" appear to have come from Romney stringers.

It is my earnest hope that Sarah Palin will emerge as the next leader of the Republican party. If not her, I'll look to another neo-Reagan like Bobby Jindal. I have a hard time believing that yet another country-club Republican can unite the party and assemble a winning coalition to reboot the Republican party.

I expect to see a lot more class-warfare in the next four years. Ronald Reagan effectively fought class-warfare because the guy from Dixon, IL positioned himself as the alternative to Rockefeller Republicanism. We'll need someone who isn't old money or married to it to lead us out of this Babylonian captivity. I don't think that person is Mitt Romney.