Over the weekend, Glenn quoted a comment from Matt Welch which helps explain why I stay with the GOP despite a number of concerns with the Republican Party, notably its imperfect record on gays and its often inadequate commitment to Ronald Reagan’s small government ideals:
MATT WELCH COMPLICATES WILL WILKINSON’S NARRATIVE: “But here’s the thing that non-Republican, gay-marrying, pro-immigration, pro-choice, anti-empire potheads like me (and Will) need to grapple with if we insist on talking about the relationship between ourselves and various large political blocs: The GOP has been more receptive to libertarian ideas these past couple of years.” And the Democrats, not so much, despite all the “liberaltarian” hype.
He’s right. At least the GOP has been more receptive to libertarian ideas in recent years. Heck, even the establishment candidate is starting to sound like a Tea Partier, proposing major cuts in federal spending.
In his post (which is well worth your time), Welch adds:
honesty compels the observation that among the governing classes, if you find an economic libertarian he/she is more likely to be a social con than a RINO (or DINO). The Gary Johnson crossover dream is still just that. Which makes me no more likely to join Team Red, but it does suggest that certain libertarianish traditions within the broader right have staying power, at a time when the libertianish tendencies on the broader left seem to be receiving little or no expression in the governance by Team Blue. That I wished things were different doesn’t change the basic facts.
I have noticed the same thing among a good number of social conservatives; they hold libertarian views on a great many issues. It’s why some gay people are willing to work with these folks in common purpose — reducing the size of the federal government.
Earlier this year, when I read Welch’s most excellent book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong with America (written together with his Reason college Nick GIllespie), I agreed with their diagnosis of the problem, but lamented their failure to offer a framework on go around the two party-system to elect real libertarian reformers, men and women committed to shrinking the size of the federal government and reducing its role in our lives.
At present, electing Republicans is the best hope for reducing the size of government. That’s why I stick with the GOP — despite its many flaws. And heck, didn’t liberals tell us a few years back that hope was a worthy political aspiration?
So, until something better comes along, I’ll stick with the GOP warts and all.