Thursday, November 22, 2012

Here's hoping the DE GOP does not listen to Bret Stephens, but that Libertarians will

In a brilliant dissection of the Republican disconnect and descent in irrelevant oblivion, Bret Stephens explains, issue by issue, what the GOP would need to change to significant again. [h/t Kids Prefer Cheese by the way]. [My notes for Libertarians follow each section in blue.

On marriage equality:
If gay people wish to lead conventionally bourgeois lives by getting married, that may be lunacy on their part but it’s a credit to our values. Channeling passions that cannot be repressed toward socially productive ends is the genius of the American way. The alternative is the tapped foot and the wide stance.
Thankfully, the LPD is already there:  we're on record for marriage equality as the next best thing to getting government completely out of the marriage business.

On abortion:
Please tone down the abortion extremism. Supporting so-called partial-birth abortions, as too many liberals do, is abortion extremism. But so is opposing abortion in cases of rape and incest, to say nothing of the life of the mother. Democrats did better with a president who wanted abortion to be “safe, legal and rare”; Republicans would have done better by adopting former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’s call for a “truce” on social issues. 
Libertarians have a genuine "big tent" on this one, and we need to remind people of that.  I am strongly for abortion rights, but I co-exist with other Libertarians who maintain a staunch anti-abortion position.  Where we agree is that (a) this can't be a one-issue litmus-test party and (b) keeping government funding and advocacy out of the issue is critical.

(As a side note, I will never forget how effective Virginia gubernatorial candidate Doug Wilder--no Libertarian, he!--was on this issue in the late 1980s.  When asked about abortion, he looked at the camera, smiled broadly and said [paraphrase], I prefer to trust the women of Virginia rather than the government to make these decisions.)

On insisting that English be declared the national language:
By the way, what’s so awful about Spanish? It’s a fine European language with an outstanding literary tradition—Cervantes, Borges, Paz, Vargas Llosa—and it would do you no harm to learn it. Bilingualism is an intellectual virtue, not a deviant sexual practice.
Libertarians would argue that the government has no damn business declaring any language to be "the national language."  A more pure example of unbridled statism would be difficult to find.

On the scientific illiteracy of some GOP candidates:
Which reminds me: Can we, as the GOP base, demand an IQ exam as well as a test of basic knowledge from our congressional and presidential candidates? This is not a flippant suggestion: There were at least five Senate seats in this election cycle that might have been occupied by a Republican come January had not the invincible stupidity of the candidate stood in the way. 
This one is important:  when we put people forth to speak for us, or as candidates, they need to be mindful of exactly what they are saying, and for the need to be credible at all times.

On immigration reform:
On the subject of idiocy, can someone explain where’s the political gold in demonizing Latin American immigrants? California’s Prop 187, passed in 1994, helped destroy the GOP in a once-reliable state. Yet Republicans have been trying to replicate that fiasco on a national scale ever since. 
If the argument is that illegal immigrants are overtaxing the welfare state, then that’s an argument for paring back the welfare state, not deporting 12 million people. If the argument is that these immigrants “steal” jobs, then that’s an argument by someone who either doesn’t understand the free market or aspires for his children to become busboys and chambermaids. 
And if the argument is that these immigrants don’t share our values, then religiosity, hard work, personal stoicism and the sense of family obligation expressed through billions of dollars in remittances aren’t American values. 
This argument is a perfect example of reframing an argument, and it is exactly what we need to learn how to do better.  Libertarian arguments are pretty much arguments from basic American values (self-reliance, non-aggression, voluntary cooperation) and we need to keep emphasizing that WE represent that mainstream.

Fortunately, there are no signs that the Delaware (or national) GOP are anywhere close to learning these lessons.  As evidence, all you need to do is tick off the names of the folks who are currently out front as "intellectual leaders" of the Delaware Republican Party:  John Sigler, David Anderson, Don Ayotte, Jon Moseley, Evan Quietsch, Pat Fish, Frank Knotts. . . .


Anonymous said...

>And if the argument is that these immigrants don’t share our values, then religiosity, hard work, personal stoicism and the sense of family obligation expressed through billions of dollars in remittances aren’t American values.

The argument is that they don't share our culture, and thus have a different set of values to us (European/White Americans). For example, Latinos overwhelmingly support the expansion of the state, and income redistribution. Polls suggest that they dislike the GOP because they are the party of "the 1%" and favor the wealthy, not because of immigration. This is probably influenced by their "religiosity", which is different to ours. It is heavily tinged by Liberation Theology, a Marxist heresy. Hispanic domestic violence is twice that of whites. Is that the American sense of family obligation?

You do the libertarian side a disfavor by using such an incomplete argument, and ignoring the entirety of the situation.

Steven H. Newton said...

And you, quite frankly, are an idiot obsessed with stereotypes. I've spent hundreds of hours with hundreds of Latinos in church, and your bizarre notion that the are heavily tinged with Liberation theology is both incorrect and as telling as your assertion that it is a "marxist heresy."

"Hispanic domestic violence is twice that of whites," and negroes enjoy watermelon and fried chicken.

You do the "libertarian side" a disfavor by pretending to be one.