Conservatives think libertarians will be the salvation of the GOP. They’re laughably wrong. Libertarians will be their downfall and it’s going to be messy.
At first glance, it’s easy to see why libertarians are so appealing to the right. Libertarians supposedly support all of the same
incredibly destructive freedom loving economic policies but without all of the social conservative baggage. Social conservatism is, of course, what allowed the the right to thrive for so long. It’s insanely easy to get people to vote for you if you have them convinced that niggers queers wetbacks whores terrorists “they” are destroying the country and voting for you is a vote against “them.” It doesn’t even matter if your economic politics destroy the middle class and working poor you’re supposedly protecting. You ain’t no commie Nazi atheist Moooslim so the rubes are gonna vote for you for no matter what! Where did it all go so wrong?
The Southern Strategy loses steam.
Unfortunately for the professional hatemongers of the right, hate only works for so long. Especially in a country with a loooong history of social progress. The GOP’s strategy of divisiveness has pretty much run its course. Even worse, people under thirty are not even remotely interested in despising everyone that looks different. Or, as Lindsey Graham put it :
“We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”
So the Southern Strategy is winding down. How will the monied interests convince regular people to vote for more tax cuts for the rich?
Promote the libertarian movement as the future!
After the debacle of the Bush presidency, the conservative movement took a good hard look at what they had wrought: Two disastrous wars, a failed economy and a country in shambles. The party of personal responsibility did what came most natural: blamed everyone else.
Desperate to pretend they were anything other than conservative Republicans, millions of GOP voters suddenly became “libertarians” and jumped on the Tea Party bandwagon.
They weren’t conservatives that hated
the black guy in the White House big government, they were libertarians! They weren’t conservatives that hated taxes and regulations, they were libertarians! They weren’t conservatives that hated abortion, gays, Muslims and minorities, they were waaaaaait a minute!
Actual libertarians are not supposed to care about social conservatism. All of her flaws aside, Ayn Rand was not a biblethumping fundamentalist. In fact, she was an atheist and would be nauseated by the “libertarian”
Christian Warriors for Jesus! Tea Party.
And this is where the right wing’s doom comes in.
The only way libertarianism can continue to attract enough young people to keep the right viable is by completely abandoning social wedge issues. But then what happens to the tens of millions of right wing bigots that eat, sleep and breathe those issues?
Some libertarians try to thread the needle with ridiculous arguments like “I don’t support ANY kind of government sanctioned marriage so I don’t support marriage equality!” It sounds like a principled stand until you notice that they have no actual interest in repealing the current laws, just maintaining the status quo. The end result is opposing marriage equality while paying lip service to “freedom.”
That only works for so long before younger libertarians get fed up with the barely concealed bigotry.
And don’t even MENTION legalizing pot!
The tapestry that is the conservative-libertarian coalition is fraying before our eyes and Obama Derangement Syndrome is speeding it along. Libertarians are very much against the War on Drugs. This is actually one place where liberals and libertarians strongly agree but for slightly different reasons. Libertarians are more concerned with limiting the government’s power. Liberals are more concerned with the way the War on Drugs targets minorities and devastates their communities. Both agree that it’s a complete failure and a waste of money.
The problem is that marijuana legalization is rapidly becoming a “liberal cause” and the “old” right wing simply cannot resist the knee-jerk reaction against it. This used to be a fairly bipartisan issue but no more. Especially now that Obama has come out as saying that pot is no worse than alcohol. Even that tepid endorsement has sent the right into a new Reefer Madness frenzy.
And so it will be with EVERY social issue. The culture warriors will refuse to abandon their cause and demand purity from their elected leaders even as they age and die off. The libertarians will be unable to reconcile their disgust at the bigotry and hatred and push to elect non-crazy people.
As the older, bitter voters wane in power, they will revolt at the idea of compromising and start sitting out elections. After all, if their candidate refuses to praise Jesus and call abortion “murder,” why the hell should they vote? Bereft of the rabidly angry base, the GOP will lose power everywhere outside of the deep south. To escape the stench of the right wing’s ideological failure, the Libertarian base will be forced to splinter off and form their own party. Once that happens, the conservative movement’s collapse will be complete. It will take decades for them to rebuild.
You might think this is all wishful thinking but political parties and movements have died before. The liberal movement was strongly ascendant in the 60’s and proceeded to collapse in the 70’s. That gave us Reagan in the 80’s and thirty years of greed and economic destruction. Now it’s the right’s turn to commit ideological suicide and their embrace of the libertarians is going to be final nail in right wing’s coffin.