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More Religiophobia Thoughts

In response to my previous post on the subject, from Eric Scheie:

If we see the two anti-freedom strains as "your money or your sex," it becomes quite obvious that it's easier -- a hell of a lot easier -- for the government to grab your money than your genitalia.

Yet even though the anti-sex people are by no means a majority in the GOP and cannot possibly implement their schemes, more people fear the Republicans.

A great con job, if you ask me.

Yup. And it continues on.


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Brock wrote:

It's not a con-job. It's just that more of the electorate are ashamed of their money and proud of their naughty-bits than the other way around. Plus, "we're all better off when we spread the genitalia around" hasn't been a political winner since they built St. Peter's.

Jay Manifold wrote:

It occurred to me the other day that a couple of great bumper stickers would be:



Yet even though the anti-sex people are by no means a majority in the GOP

I've never heard of anyone in the GOP who was anti-sex.

Paul Hsieh wrote:

For me, the biggest problem is the disturbing trend line of the GOP. They are both moving towards the "social issues" agenda and away from the "fiscal conservative" positions of the past.

Right now, there are some still Republican leaders attempting to straddle the line but I don't believe that will be a very stable position for long. I'm seeing more Republicans getting involved at the grass roots level for whom the various social issues (abortion, gay marriage, embryonic stem cells, opposing the teaching of evolution in schools) is their only priority, and they don't have any sort of genuine commitment to free market economics, individual rights, etc.

At least in Colorado, it's difficult-to-impossible for a Republican candidate to make it through the primaries and into the general election without kowtowing to this faction. And that faction has become increasingly aggressive in recent years.

I have no hopes for anything good from the Democrats -- they're a lost cause as far as I'm concerned. As we're also stuck with the current 2-party system for the forseeable future. Hence, my biggest concern is that if the current GOP trend continues, then we'll end up with two parties who both want to use the power of government to massively violate your rights and infringe on basic human freedoms, but merely differing in the exact forms of those infringements.

A generation ago, there were many church-going conservatives who also took a relatively-good "live and let live" approach towards these social issues. I fully respect that position and I would be happy if that continued.

But that group is in fast decline and being supplanted by a new variety of religious conservatives of the "you must live my way" variety.

If the GOP wins and gets rewarded when they de-emphasize free market economics and energize the "social issues" crowd, then the Party will continue moving in the wrong direction and we'll be in real trouble in 8-12 years.

On the other hand, if they take the 2008 loss as an opportunity for internal reflection and debate, then they could shift in the right direction -- back towards capitalism and free markets. I believe this debate is both necessary and will ultimately decide the future of both the GOP and (more importantly) America.

The next 4 years are going to be a very rough ride under President Obama -- I don't deny that, and I'm not looking forward to it. I don't endorse his policies, and I think he will do tremendous damage to our great country.

But given how miserable our choices were in 2008 and how the choices seem to get worse each election cycle, I really don't want to be faced with even *worse* choices in 2012, 2016, and 2020 (e.g., think Huckabee vs Michelle Obama).

Some of the blog readers here who live in California or New York may not see the growing influence of the Religious Right as much of an issue as those of us who live in Colorado or other "flyover" states. But just as the liberal journalists in the coastal states too-often write off the Religious Right, I'm afraid that the better secular conservatives in those states may be committing a variation of the same error in underestimating them.

For those who want additional information on this, I'd like to point people to two books:

"The Elephant In The Room", by Ryan Sager

"With God On Our Side", by William Martin

(As an aside, I also want to publicly thank Rand for letting folks like me air our views on his blog comments. I agree with him on most issues, but have occasional disagreements, such as now. But he's always been fair in his moderation policy and I want to give him kudos for that. Plus as another former Michigan man, I share the misery he's experiencing during this first year of the Rich Rodriguez era...)

I don't know where Paul gets the idea that social conservatism is stealing the limelight in the GOP. I barely notice it.

The trend away from fiscal conservatism since the end of 1995 is one of my big pet peeves. Republicans have become the party of fiscal appeasement. They lost their nerve in late 1995 when the Clinton PR machine outmaneuvered them, and they haven't regained their spines since.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on November 18, 2008 9:21 AM.

What Would We Do Without Lou Friedman... was the previous entry in this blog.

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