Dale Amon is someone with whom I actually have an unusually high degree of agreement on many many issues. In his article Free love or fight! however, I find myself agreeing with his conclusions only partly and even that for rather different reasons.
Whilst he is quite correct that there are elements of the Republican Party in the USA which are supportive of profoundly repressive actions by the state regarding sexual freedoms, I am not sure the issue of abortion comes under the category of ‘sexual freedoms’ at all. It is a contentious issue pertaining to definitions of life and death rather than sex, which whilst the proximate cause, is a separate issue.
Similarly I know many Republicans who are very libertarian regarding matters of sexual liberty… profoundly so in fact, taking the view that provided possible results of sex such as disease and pregnancy are treated responsibly and of accepted consequence, then the fact a person might like to have wild monkey sex is none of any one else’s business. The ‘Ashcroft’ faction does not define the entire Republican Party’s views on sex.
Of course there is indeed a certain paleo-conservative constituency within Republicanism in the USA which is inimical to libertarian values on many issues… but then I would argue they are just as inimical to neo-conservative values. Similarly there is a large and just as toxic ‘anti-sex’ element within the US Democratic Party, largely drawn from their still large number of paleo-feminist supporters. In reality I suspect the Democratic Party’s infection with Political Correctness is probably the greater threat to sexual freedoms (abortion is another issue entirely) than the Republican Puritan elements will ever be.
I am convinced that libertarians can indeed find significant elements within both the Democratic and Republican Party with whom to work, based on the inherent contradictions of these philosophically fuzzy groups that make a subversivist approach both practical and productive.
My worry about whether libertarians can actually find any common ground in the short term with mainstream Republicanism is more due to the fact it is becoming clear that George Bush is just another economically incoherent crypto-Keynsian. For all his talk about free trade, he has added not just steel tariffs but also wood tariffs against Canada, honey tariffs against Argentina, textile tariffs against Pakistan and sugar tariffs against Mexico… never mind that Mexico and Canada are NAFTA members.
I shall blog another article soon about the economic and political harm being done by the US government not just in their own country but also elsewhere, as they undermine the very people they should be supporting.