There’s a meme running around among some center-right wonks that I can only half agree with.
The meme goes like this: GOP domestic policy is hopelessly stuck in hyper-libertarian thinking, something that doesn’t resonate with middle class Americans. These same Ayn Rand-loving Republicans go around supporting a more liberalized immigration policy and same-sex marriage. What the GOP needs to do is stop supporting these silly policies and get back to a more conservative domestic policy that can help a struggling middle class.
The GOP’s embrace of free-market absolutism also explains why party elites support the fiction of same-sex marriage and turning America into an open-borders, low-wage country via immigration amnesty, further weakening the social and economic foundations of middle America.
In the libertarian universe, “economic freedom” trumps everything: civilization, nation, statecraft, patriotism, industry, culture and family.
I get where Patterson is going with all of this, but personally, I tend to think adopting an anti-gay marriage, anti-immigration message with some more liberal economic policy isn’t going to help the GOP any more than what they are doing now.
What Patterson, Douthat and others want to do is pin the blame on libertarians and the elites for the current sad state of the GOP. But the GOP hasn’t been losing just because of their economic policies; they’ve been losing because of their economic and social policies. Telling Latinos that they need to self-deport themselves tends to make Latinos less likely to vote for the GOP, even if they have policies that might attract them.
The reality is that a hard-edged social conservatism and a hyper libertarianism has made the GOP a less attractive alternative to the Democrats. Both social and economic policies have to be overhauled in order for the Republicans to become a winning party. The party doesn’t have to be pro-same sex marriage, but they do need to not look like hateful neanderthals.
I’m more than willing to accept that the libertarian economic policies of the GOP need to be changed. What I won’t accept is throwing myself as a gay man under the bus just so that social conservatives don’t have to look at their own policies. Clean up your own damn house before you go blaming others.