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The future of the Republican party?

Crap.

32 comments to The future of the Republican party?

  • Soupmonkey

    After getting kicked in the head by the death of Michael Crichton, I can only say this(In a broken way), there is no Republican party. What there was died just after Reagan left office. Do not count on what is left to promote individual freedom and free market policies. These are hysterical losers who will do their best to bond with their big government cronies in order to just keep what few seats they have in the House and Senate.

  • I’ve been watching the political process for some time without really entering the political arena. I’ve been a libertarian all my life- handed down from father to son, a kind of “you leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone” attitude toward government. With that background, I expected to find politics enjoyable. For the past several years, however, it has been a disgrace. There has been no real candidate worth endorsing – with the exception of Fred Thompson, who was wise enough to do the job, and therefor didn’t want it. I’m looking forward to 4 years of statism and the rapid-fire erosion of personal liberties in the name of “equality”.

    However – the country isn’t broken. We’ve survived worse presidencies than this one almost certainly will be – though for the record I sincerely hope I’m wrong. Still: instapundit had a great link today: http://volokh.com/posts/1225948705.shtml#479276 It’s good reading for all of us libertarian types.

  • Midwesterner

    Brad,

    There is another good comment in that thread here.

  • Bod

    I’ll put on my Faraday cage and ground myself first ..

    Brad’s right – the country’s not destroyed, but fwiw, I think the whole conservative-libertarian fusionist model’s broken and ain’t gonna come back in any of our lifetimes. You have entrenched social cons like David Frum and Peggy Noonan sneering at the likes of Palin as some ignorant yokel – as though the Republicans will take on and crush the coastal liberal elites by simply ‘having better policies’.

    I have – well, had – a lot of sympathy for the social conservatives – I don’t see them as necessarily being enemies of libertarianism, but people like the National Review are imploding at the moment over whether Palin (for example) is the ‘right kind of people’ as though elections in the US are dinner parties where the people with the poshest voices get a medal and a polite round of applause.

    Even in my exclusive, upmarket corner of Fairfield County, CT, I saw a rejuvenated Republican presence when Palin was nominated. Now, I’m not totally in the tank for Palin, but people like her would seem to me to be one of the antidotes to Country Club Republicanism. This town’s not Dogfart, Oklahoma (no offense meant, no, really) – it’s full of the kind of people you might expect to be limousine liberals and people for whom a 5% tax hike (or whatever) might make them opt for a smaller yacht down on the Sound, when they get their bonus from their hedge fund employers.

    And you have places with the alleged respectability of NR (and the Weekly Standard) planning purges of their ideologically unsound brothers and sisters as though they’re in Moscow circa 1937. What ARE these people thinking? What kind of freedom would people get anyway if these idiots were guiding policy?

    I’m going to attract some flak from Billy Beck who will tell me that anything less than a ‘real purge’ will leave us in thrall to rapacious statist monsters (TM), but I’m a gradualist at heart, but see no way forward when the only possible natural allies we have are behaving like spoiled brats who just discovered that dad’s chainsaw isn’t that hard to start.

    Don’t get me started on making an accommodation with the American ‘Left’.

    So, in short, the future of the Republican party, and by extension, the prospects for libertarian power?

    Utter Crap.

    *sigh*

    Disheartened of Danbury

  • Laird

    Mid is correct (as usual): utter crap. Some people are apparently uneducable, no matter how many 2x4s you hit them with.

  • Midwesterner

    There are certain Republicans I would like to see suspended from the chandeliers. But I’m actually more optimistic than perhaps my tone lets on.

    Jennifer Rubin has an interesting take. And if McCain is as poor of a manager as his campaign management indicates, he would have finished what the neo-cons started as per the ‘conservative’ brand. It should be apparent to all that the one smart thing McCain did was ignore the supercilious set and select a personally conservative, politically libertarian federalist candidate with small business and government executive experience. It was the last smart thing he did.

    Small business and small town Republicans outnumber the preening elite Republicans by a huge margin and if there is any throwing out to be done, those sophists discretely checking their empty dance cards with their wet fingers testing the wind, are the ones that need to be chucked into the nearest bin.

    The question is, can fiscally conservative and socially liberal libertarians find common ground with fiscally conservative and socially conservative Republicans. Right now it looks like a huge number of libertarians are under the delusion that Democrats are socially liberal. A few more nanny laws should cure that error. At that point, maybe the two kinds of fiscal conservatives can agree on something like federalism.

  • veryretired

    Both major parties in the US have gone through so many mutations that it is difficult to predict where they might travel in the future.

    But the idea that the future of individualism and anti-collectivism is tied to any political party is wrong, and that includes the utterly ineffectual libertarian party.

    The Republican party has passed through phases in which it was big government, progressive, isolationist, big on military spending, critical of government spending, enthusiastic about government spending, protectionist, free tradist, anti-regulatory, pro-regulation, and so on.

    The Dems have been ultra conservative, segregationist, civil rightists, anti-government, pro-government, anti-tax (or tariff), pro-tax, pro-military and pro-war, anti-military and anti-war, in favor of government regulations and opposed to government regulations, and so on.

    I don’t think the future of individualism lies in any political party, but in the social and cultural institutions that form the parameters of what is acceptable politically, and what is morally desirable as social policy.

    Right now, those instutions, especially the educational and media/information systems, are controlled by advocates of statist action and collectivist thought.

    It makes little difference what this or that politician or group of pols does tomorrow or next month, or even next year.

    What does matter is that people who value individual rights and liberties begin the long, slow, difficult struggle to redefine and restructure the educational philosophies and media values that so permeate our culture with statism that alternatives are rarely ever presented except as objects of ridicule.

    This election was, for all practical purposes, between an eclectic statist and a leftist idealogue.

    The solution lies not in the next election, but the next generation.

    We have allowed our educational and media cultures to sow the wind, and we are now reaping the whirlwind.

    We must plant rational individualism, and respect for human rights and dignities, if we ever expect to reap a harvest of freedom and continued, or renewed, liberty.

  • Bod

    Couldn’t agree more Mid, but at the risk of (a) threadjacking the discussion and (b) revealing my ignorance, how huge a practical gulf is there in reconciling the two on the social side?

    Palin never gave off the ‘christianist’ vibe that she’s been accused of. Assuming she’s more like me (and seemingly thee) in that she’s a live-and-let-live type, is that really enough for the ‘real’ social conservatives? If so, can reconciling the two parties really be as simple as finding a small(ish) number of representatives who can walk what looks like such a fine line?

    One of the constituences would have to take quite a leap of faith (pun intended) in order to accommodate such a deal, unless, as you indicate, a rather clear federalist theme was adopted. Not that I personally would object to such an accommodation. Is federalism really that easy to ‘sell’ to people in general?

  • RRS

    It is quite possible, maybe even likely, that the legislative regime that is about to begin will self-destruct.

    If there is some kind (any kind?) of base around which to form, the disillusioned, the disappointed and the angry (the “independents” who are growing as a % of the electorate) will rally to any rational “flag.”

    What people thought they saw is not what they will get, and the way they react will re-form whatever party is in opposition to the legislative arrogance that is about to commence.

  • Midwesterner

    Bod,

    First some background. Fundamentalist Christianity is at its root an individualist belief system. Conversion, for one deeply important example, can only be achieved by personal voluntary consent. Christianity (at least fundamentalist Christianity) can only be exercised in an individualist society, it is philosophically incompatible with collectivism.

    As has been much discussed on the libertarian quarters of the net lately, there are two schools of thought on whether humans are perfectible by imposed means. The left believes that if they can find the correct laws and interventions, humans can be perfected. Most conservatives and libertarians believe that it is impossible to impose perfection, therefore they try to minimize the possibilities for people to inflict damage on each other. Evangelicals and most other Christian fundamentalist groups believe that man is by nature flawed and that no amount of tinkering can fix that. They believe that there is nothing one person can force on another one to ‘fix’ him. In this they are diametrically opposed to leftist practices.

    The grounds they have for legislating morality are entirely different from leftists. Christians believe it is wrong to tempt another into wrong. It is on that basis that they go along with laws on consensual behavior, but it is not intrinsic in most denominations that they must (or even may) intervene as a third party. It is based entirely on consent. On the other hand, leftists have the cure for what ever ails you, just sit still and shut up for it. There are also occasionally some socialist types that drift over to the Republicans because they share their morality on sex and drugs. But they are a poor fit, their meta-contexts are entirely incompatible. No concession should be made to them at all.

    Christianity is at its deepest root an individualist religion. Its followers have been since day one innately distrustful of powerful governments. Individualist libertarians already have much meta-context in common with Christian fundamentalists, (did you just hear somebody scream?) and share virtually no meta-context whatsoever with the left. Libertarian individualists and Christian fundamentalists are on the same side of the “is government the answer?” debate.

    So yes, federalism is that easy to sell. At least to fundamentalist Christians. I think if we can get past all of the noise coming in from third parties in the media and elsewhere, that reconciliation between these two groups is not just possibly, but likely. When I was in high school and two people would start quarreling, my best friend would often say to them “let’s you and him fight”. There’s been a lot of that being said to the individualists’ side of the political spectrum.

  • Bod

    Thanks for that, Midwesterner. It’s illuminating, because growing up in Britain, my only real religious roots derive from being raised Church of England, and therefore, I’m probably less informed about Christianity than the proverbial Borneo headhunter.

  • Richard Thomas

    Unfortunately, I can’t really concur. The urge to tell others what to do, particularly when it offends a person’s sensibilities, is just as likely to occur in the Christian community as elsewhere and they are similarly inclined to turn to the state to have their views impressed on others.

    With that said, “Christians” are a pretty disparate group. Most of the issues are caused only by a small vocal minority. Of the rest, I believe for a large portion, “Christian” is merely a label they like to apply to themselves and the precepts of Christianity are not really part of their core life-view. Of these, some use the label as a form of crude tribalism and will vote for someone merely because they also identify themselves vaguely as “Christian” and others will not even go that far and will vote for someone whose policies and actions clearly go against Christian doctrine.

    As for the future of liberty and libertarians? I’m about convinced that the very philosophy means that we’ll always be fighting a weak retreat. Up until the point we decide the burden has become too great to bear, we take up arms and put things right for another couple of hundred years.

    I think the time is coming not to discuss how to correct the current system of government but how to best implement the next one.

  • Midwesterner

    Bod,

    I’m probably less informed about Christianity than the proverbial Borneo headhunter.

    What an amazing coincidence is your choice for comparison. Two of my aunts spent their entire adult lives as Christian missionaries to, that’s right, the headhunters (Dyaks) of the inland jungles of Borneo. Although I quit religion at the age of 18, my family is deeply evangelical. Interestingly, some of their most important and dangerous activities, at least from your and my individualist/libertarian perspective, involved helping the Dyaks defend themselves politically against the government and protecting Chinese from ethnically based reprisals during and after the coup attempt. Indonesia runs on identity politics.

  • Spiny Norman

    Perhaps some good news about the future of the GOP:

    Just do it.

  • Midwesterner

    Richard Thomas,

    You’re right, the urge to tell others what to do is quite likely to occur in the Christian community, but it is not structural. On the left, it is.

    You are right about a very vocal group seeking the power to legislate religion. But that is antithetical to Christian doctrines. We don’t need to concede that point to them regarding consensual activities between adults. They will not like it but it is negotiable. What is not negotiable with them (and also with many libertarians) is the exposure of minors to opportunities that the parents disapprove of. If anybody is hoping to have explicit sex broadcast on open television and drugs available in vending machines, they have more than the Christian right to contend with.

    Again, re drugs and sex between consenting adults, my read is that they are willing to work on that point to find a compromise that protects children.

  • Midwesterner

    Brian makes a very good point in another article about cryptic link-based articles getting confusing when the links fail in the future so just for the record, the article I linked was by somebody (Stephen Bainbridge) saying seriously and in some detail that the secret to restoring the Republican party to grace is for it to copy exactly David Cameron and the Tories. He really meant it.

  • Bod

    Damn, I was going to post that comment, but I couldn’t remember where I’d seen it.

    Just goes to show how little American pundits understand blighty. I LOLed heartily when I read it.

  • Dwayne

    The answer for true conservatives and libertarians is not to become Democrat/liberal “lite” but to return to principles. I’m afraid our elites, even the ones more or less on “our side,” are out of touch with the vast mafority of the populace. Given the uphiil nature of this year’s battle, the grossly lopsided spending, the complicity of the the media (which in the U.S. was overtly an arm of The One’s campaign), there is no way that the result should have been this close. Conservative and libertarian ideas are not passe in America.

  • Laird

    Mid, I certainly don’t claim to have your knowledge of the inner working of Christian sects, especially fundamentalism. Still, I do live in the heart (on the “buckle”, as some call it) of the Bible Belt, so I have at least a passing familiarity with them. (And I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!) Having said that, I don’t think I can accept as true your assertion that “Christianity (at least fundamentalist Christianity) can only be exercised in an individualist society, it is philosophically incompatible with collectivism.”

    You are no doubt correct that on an individual level accepting Christ or being “saved” is a very personal decision. But that doesn’t mean that other aspects of their society are individualistic. History is replete with Christian sects which practiced some form of communism; the Pilgrims in Massachusetts were one obvious example (it almost killed them all), but there are many others over the centuries. “Liberation Theology”, a Christian philosophy, is avowedly socialistic, if not outright communist. In fact, I would posit that most varieties of Christians are socialistic in outlook to a greater or lesser extent. So I just don’t see how your statement makes sense. Care to justify it?

  • Midwesterner

    Laird,

    Throughout history there have been extremist groups that donned the garb of ‘Christianity’ hoping for a free pass. I see a distinct difference between ‘extremist’ and ‘fundamentalist’. The words themselves even describe opposite actions. The fundamentals are found in the core, not the extremity of something. From liberation theology to the Pilgrims, these are extremist political groups who wrap(ped) themselves in religion much as dubious politicians are quick to don the stars and stripes (or religion, come to think of it).

    I tried to confine my remarks to describe people who are Christians first and political second. The Obamas, Wrights and Pflegers of the world are political first and only seek the cover of Christianity for their political goals. These collectivists along with some other socially conservative socialists are completely incompatible with both libertarianism and fundamentalist Christianity. They are a poison pill to any group or party espousing personal liberty and responsibility. Paul Marks could perhaps address this better but I think the Republican party has under the Bushes been hijacked by strong defense (small ‘s’) socialists or perhaps corporatists.

    I realize that the difference between fundamentalism and extremism re Christianity is difficult to see from the outside but I could see it on my father’s face every he saw certain sorts of claims made by public religious figures. I know little of theology, but he knew a lot (graduated from Moody in Christian Ed) and the existence of the difference was obvious to me even when the details were not. Again a subtle but major difference, fundamentalist Christianity is cooperative, not collective. Throughout every part of it that I am aware of, all obligations must be accepted voluntarily, not compelled. It is a big difference that is not always obvious.

    This is why I think cooperation is possible and mutually beneficially. Federalism is the easiest place to start because the ground rules are already well established in the original constitution.

  • Laird

    Well, Mid, you’re right that I’m an outsider and clearly don’t see the subtle distinctions. And I’m willing to accept that your statement is correct with respect to a certain type of Christian fundamentalist as you’ve narrowly defined that term. But still it seems to me (again, as an outsider) that there are so many of what you call “extremist groups” claiming to be Christians (c.f. the examples you cited) that I don’t really see the value in arguing, as you do, that “Christianity” is largely compatible with libertarianism. Certain sects or groups, perhaps, but that is a small subset of all self-proclaimed “Christians.”

    You appear to be arguing that the Wrights, Pflegers, etc., aren’t “true” Christians. I can’t speak to that, although I suspect that they would disagree, and if they profess to worship Christ (in accordance with the tenets of their belief system) I am inclined to accept their claim at face value. In any event, it is not them I’m thinking about so much as their legions of followers. Are you saying that all those congregants are political animals first, using their religion as a cover? I doubt that many think of themselves in that way.

    I still think it does us little good to claim that libertarians and Christians share the same metacontext, when all that you are really talking about is a tiny segment of the Christian universe. We could probably find some small Islamic sect which shares that metacontext, too, but I certainly wouldn’t begin trying to recruit libertarians in mosques.

    There may be a few grains of wheat in the fields of Christianity, but there is an awful lot of chaff to sift through to find it. Doesn’t seem like a particularly fruitful endeavor.

  • Paul Marks

    David Frum is not only anti social conservative, he is anti “economic conservative” (i.e. people who oppose the Welfare State and the credit bubble economy) as well – in short he is part of the enemy.

    “You people think in dogmatic terms” – yes I do, and with good reason.

    “But the educated are turning against such a position”.

    A classic example of missing the point.

    Instead of understanding that the schools and universities are dominated by collectivist ideas and attitudes and demanding that taxpayers money be given to them, “realistic” people like our David (and so many in Britain as well as the United States) just accept whatever crap the schools and universities teach as “education” and demand that we “adapt” to it.

    Such a position is not only economically wrong, it is also politically suicidal – as the teachers and academics (and the media they produce) will just carry on pushing things to more and more collectivism. Trying to “reach out” to them or to the “good students” (as Ludwig Von Mises called them) is self defeating.

  • Paul Marks

    The above should read – demanding that taxpayers’ money NOT be given to the schools and universities.

    “Politically impossible”.

    Then the collectivists win – at least till there is total economic and social collapse (then all bets are off).

  • Midwesterner

    First, I am not about to get into who is a ‘true’ Christian. Not a chance. I am only talking about the (much-derided-by-the-‘true’-libertarians) ‘fundamentalist’ Christians. I am having some trouble with your logic. We have seen enough people say things like ‘I don’t know much about Republicans but I know that everybody who voted against Obama is a racist.’ They don’t see the innate contradiction of that ‘reasoning’. It is the same with your compound claim that you don’t know much about Christians but you know that they are all socialists. Or at least all but a “certain type of Christian fundamentalist as you’ve narrowly defined that term” Presumably you understand that those collectivist Christians you are talking about are not part of the Republican party? So presumably this conversation is about those terrible Evangelicals that have hijacked the Republicans? In which case you have to either choose that I have defined them too narrowly, in which case their absence is no great loss for the ‘true’ conservatives, play on; or I have defined them as they are when they make up a substantial part of the Republican party’s base. But you can’t have it both ways. And yes, with this frenzy of ‘correct’ morality legislation being rammed down our throats (like who they must hire to work in their own religious institutions), they are trying to get some of their values plugged into the legislation. But most of them would prefer a federalist system. They just can’t find enough allies to defend one.

    The vast majority of the other Christians you are describing do not vote Republican any way, so why let their existence on the left prevent cooperation by small government federalists? Seriously, what do they have to do with this conversation? They are Democrats. You are an example of why the ‘let’s you and him fight’ analogy works so well. Put another way, you are saying something along the lines of ‘there are these two categories of Christians that strongly disagree with each other but one group is willing to cooperate with me. But I won’t because I really don’t like the other one that they disagree with.’ It doesn’t make any sense of course. It is because you are doing two contradictory things. You don’t/won’t learn Christian theologies (a reasonable choice) and yet you insist that their theology disqualifies them despite their politics. You are placing yourself in the role of a theologian rejecting fundamentalist’s libertarian politics on the grounds that not all Christians believe that way. You are also expecting them to think with a consistent clarity that is utterly lacking in the rest of the voting public. That in itself is a double standard; people are inconsistent.

    Unless you want to have your own personal life style choices a disqualification for whether you can call yourself a libertarian, then you should ignore their religion and accept their political alliance if political agreement can be found. And I think we need some equivalent to Godwin’s law for the first person to equate Christianity with Islam in any discussion. How about Mid’s law: “As a blog thread discussing Christians grows longer, the probability of someone bringing up Muslims approaches one.”

    Your third paragraph is an unequivocal statement that although people may see great differences between each other, you intend to treat them all the same. This is identity politics. You are insisting that very disparate people share an identity because that’s the way you feel more comfortable. Please, if they are such a small group as you claim, then abandon this discussion. You don’t need them. That is why small government types are triumphing across America. There are so many of us that we don’t need to associate with people who’s life style choices make us uncomfortable. Small tents are far cozier.

    You have been around Samizdata long enough to know that I put myself in the camp marked ‘agnostic’. I have good company there with people like Perry de Havilland and Nick M. and many others. One of the things it indicates is an understanding that no scientific proofs are possible on the God question. Perry has made clear that he leans personally towards ‘no God’. But people who are willing to admit they can’t prove something don’t make it a litmus test for unrelated issues. He, Nick and many others of us think that what people believe is none of our business until they try to use force on us.

    Seriously, Laird. Most fundamentalist Christians hold varying degrees of small ‘L’ libertarian political principles. Palin is a good and fairly typical example. Because libertarians like you condemn their personal beliefs and shout “Wright! Pfleger! Jackson!” every time you hear “Christian”, you are playing right into the hands of the faction (Wright, Pfleger, Jackson etc) that you most oppose. Do you think they care that your confused identity politics sabotages possible cooperation by their opponents? Do you think it accidental that the media singles out Christian fundamentalists for special treatment (but not Muslim fundamentalists or people like the aforementioned Wright, Pfleger, Jackson etc)? It is because they know their allies from their enemies better than you do.

    There is a personal purity test that every body must first pass before they are allowed to call themselves libertarian and join libertarian causes. The hypocrisy of this is mind numbing. The most foaming attackers against Palin were libertarian. And yet she is the most libertarian/small government candidate on a major ticket in all of the time I have been voting.

    Please, leave the theology to people that believe it. You stick to what their politics are. If you are going to stipulate that there be no cooperation between atheist and Christian libertarians, well that is just stupid. If we can find common ground, we should put it in a platform, select candidates and vote for them. BTW, you don’t need to claim that we share a meta-context. I did that. All you need to do is be prepared to cooperate politically with people who’s life style choices offend you. That is what they will be doing as well.

  • You appear to be arguing that the Wrights, Pflegers, etc., aren’t “true” Christians. I can’t speak to that

    I can. I do not know if they are apostates. Christian apostasy, in short, is heresy that rejects the faith’s salvation-relevant tenets. I do not know their beliefs on the Trinity, the inherent separation between humanity and God, or the role of Jesus in rectifying that division. But I do know that they are heretics – flawed Christians at best.

    The Bible does not teach class warfare – that entire classes of humanity are inherently at war with each other. Jeremiah Wright is rooted in the black supremacism of theologian James Cone. Tell me if this looks like something Jesus would say:

    The black intellectual’s goal, says Cone, is to “aid in the destruction of America as he knows it.” Such destruction requires both black anger and white guilt. The black-power theologian’s goal is to tell the story of American oppression so powerfully and precisely that white men will “tremble, curse, and go mad, because they will be drenched with the filth of their evil.” In the preface to his 1970 book, A Black Theology of Liberation, Wright wrote: “There will be no peace in America until whites begin to hate their whiteness, asking from the depths of their being: ‘How can we become black?'”

    Wright’s famous “US of KKK A” rant certainly violates the commandment against bearing false witness. Pfleger goes down that road, too, claiming that Hillary Rodham Clinton’s horror at facing an actual serious contender in the primaries reflected in part a racist attitude:

    “When Hillary was crying, and people said that was put on, I really don’t believe it was put on. I really believe that she just always thought, ‘this is mine! I’m Bill’s wife, I’m white and this is mine! I just gotta get up and step into the plate’ and then out of nowhere came, ‘Hey, I’m Barack Obama,’ and she said, ‘Oh, damn. Where did you come from? I’m white! I’m entitled! There’s a black man stealing my show!’ ’’

    I can’t pin down Pfleger’s central theology. But I can find examples of serious breaches of Christian ethics. Discover the Networks has a dossier on Pfleger. His philosophy on combating vice by engaging in vice is not something Jesus would do:

    In 2000 Pfleger encouraged his parishioners to purchase time from local prostitutes and drug dealers, and to use that time to try to persuade the payees to attend counseling and job-training sessions.

    I have a feeling that, in those settings, the counter-witnessing would tend to overwhelm the witnessing.

    DSN cites more of Pfleger’s false witness:

    Pfleger views America as a nation infested with “classism and racism,” and he identifies white racism as “the number one sin in this country.”

    There are much greater sins in the US – for example, welfare statism. (Somewhere in the Bible it says “Thou shalt not steal.” I guess that’s why the Ten Commandments can’t be displayed in classrooms.)

  • Laird

    OK, Mid, I surrender. Clearly you are correct that the vast majority of “socialist” Christians don’t vote either Libertarian or Republican, and so don’t belong in this discussion. If we can find common political ground with Christian fundamentalists that’s fine with me, with the stipulation that they don’t try to impose their religious beliefs on me or on others. Perhaps my problem is that I tend to conflate “fundamentalists” with “evangelicals”. I’ve had enough prosletyzing from the latter that I want absolutely nothing to do with them, even if we happen to agree on a few issues. But if you tell me that not all Christian fundamentalists are evangelicals, and that those who aren’t share our libertarian values of leaving people alone to live their lives as they see fit (even if those choices don’t conform to the fundamentalists’ religious beliefs), then I say fine, come on in.

    How do you propose that we identify such people, and separate them from the socialist Christians and the authoritarian evangelicals?

  • M

    Paul Marks- your points about education are good. It is why I think the school voucher idea really misses the point. Sweden has school vouchers. It hasn’t done a damn thing to put a dent in the politically correct education system there.

  • Midwesterner

    Laird,

    ‘Evangelize’ and ‘Evangelical’ share a root. They proselytize. It’s called ‘witnessing’. It is an essential part of their beliefs. They are trying to convince you, not force you. Some of them are about as tolerable as telemarketers. Insist that political platforms and only political platforms will be discussed or you are out the door. Virtually all of them will abide by that. Just tell them up front what will not be discussed and you will be fine.

    For your last question, if they won’t take ‘no’ for an answer (to the witnessing), dump them because some thing’s not right. On socialism, stick to politics and if you can’t find common ground after effort and negotiations, don’t cave, walk. There are plenty of socialists about and Christianity is a popular robe to wrap it in. This is first and only about building a political coalition. If the platform works for you, that’s all that matters. Agree to leave points of disagreement out of the platform entirely. I like the idea of going back to federalism. If we ever succeed at that then is the time to look at other issues.

    AKH,

    I have a feeling that, in those settings, the counter-witnessing would tend to overwhelm the witnessing.

    Heh! It probably plays into how he combats vice. :)

  • Paul Marks

    Liberation Theology is not Christian (and putting the word black in front of liberation theology does not change this), this is because Liberation Theology is about creating an ideal society on Earth by Marxist political activity – it is not about life after death, and having Jesus as our salvation.

    The above paragraph is nothing that “Rev” Wright’s own father would have said.

    Liberation Theology people are not Christians nor are they Jews or any other God based religion.

    The fact that radical Muslim groups cooperate with them in places like Chicago is strange – I suppose it is a matter of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” – the enemy being Western Civilization, both its religious element and the nonreligious element within in it.

  • Paul Marks

    I should have typed “this is nothing that Rev. Wright’s father would not have agreed with”.

    The father was a Christian minister – UNLIKE the son.

  • Republicans need to simplify their policies to align with their platform. They need to remember that they stand for small government and personal freedom. The problem is that they have let their message get muddled. McCain did this in his campaign with trying to be a “true-blue” conservative and a maverick. His message never got across to anyone.

  • tdh

    Apart from the heydays of Coolidge and of Goldwater, when has the Republican Party ever stood for smaller government or personal liberty?

    At its inception, having arrogated to itself one of the names of Jefferson’s Republican-Democratic Party, the Republicans were pro-big-government and, with the exception of their opposition to slavery, anti-personal-liberty.

    Herbert Hoover was pro-big-government until he repented too late.

    Ronald Reagan grew government and intensified the drug hunts.

    If the Republicans are ever going to have stood for more than a few passing moments for small government and/or personal liberty, they’ve got to decide first that that’s what they stand for, and they’ve got to have the brains to understand what that means. They haven’t yet done so, and I see no evidence that if they did it would mean anything.