Libertarians versus social conservatives in The Republican Party

November 9, 2006 at 2:42 am (The Right, The United States, US Government)

One issue The Republican Party faces, which is very difficult to sort out, is reconciling its two bases, which are the libertarians on the one hand and the social conservatives on the other hand. the reason why this is difficult is because there are a number of issues both sides can agree on, there are many issues upon which both sides vociferously disagree. Examples include same-sex marriage, “morality” or “lifestyle” laws (gambling, drugs, alcohol, prayer, and so on), perhaps even euthanasia.

Libertarians accuse The Republican Party of pandering to the social conservative base, while social conservatives accuse The Republican Party1 of pandering to the libertarian base. In reality, The Republican Party is stuck in the position of claiming to represent positions it cannot act upon.

Now, there is The Libertarian Party, but its members tend to be a bit more radical than those in The Republican Party. Indeed, whereas libertarians in The Republican Party accept that certain realities mean that certain preferences can never be implemented (for example, as much as they would like small government, a strong and well-equipped government is needed for national security), libertarians in The Libertarian Party are almost as unrealistically idealistic as Democrats. And, indeed, with hint of isolationism (which Democrats, ironically, believe in), such policies would only doom The United States.

How is The Republican Party to solve this dilemma? I don’t even know where The Republican Party should start.

1. I try not to use “the Party” or “The Party” as it looks and seems too totalitarian. By referencing which party I am talking about, I hope to emphasize each time that The United States is not a one-party state.


1 Comment

  1. A Parable for Muslihoon « Think Tankers said,

    […] And there’s your answer to how libertarianism works with social conservatism. When people govern themselves well, they have less need of govern-ment. Granted, Japan’s not the poster child for small government by any means. But they didn’t have cops on the street corner making sure the kids only bought kid beverages either. […]

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