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« Syrian dominos | Main | The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with no Wilson? »

November 24, 2015


Peter G

Who could disagree? If Trump is not the man who would be king he certainly is the kingmaker. I do know a few people, my wife included, who see the Trumpian crowds and their immunity from infection by basic humanity and are frightened. I don't like it that my wife is frightened. I don't like it at all. So I marshal my arguments and put her mind at ease. Sadly I can not do this for the vast majority of the fearful because they are Republicans. I have no arguments to offer them that will bring solace.


Let's see if Nate changes his tune in the face of Trump victories in IA and/or NH. What little success the Republicans have had at the national level lately is in the person of Paul Ryan who, at least for now, appears to have tamed the Freedom Freaks somewhat. If the next iteration of the party is fundamentally libertarian, as I suspect it will be, what better figurehead than a billionaire crypto-fascist?

In the 1964 primaries Rockefeller lost to Goldwater largely because he was an adulterer with a baby to prove it, thus driving away social conservatives. The number one establishment candidate this go around is Jeb, who has a wife of origins outside Trump's great wall and babies to prove it.

Peter G

Your point is well taken but in fairness you must continue. All of the Republican candidates are burdened by policy positions and histories and public comments that make them more or less unelectable. I can't honestly say I believe that libertarianism can come to dominate the Republican party until they find some smart person to reconcile their current desires to bomb the living shit out of everything that moves with your basic libertarian's isolationism. The alternative is for them to elect a Republican president who will start a near never ending war (or two) that sours the entire populace on all things military. That would give the Republicans time to have one of their brief flings with isolationism and, hence, libertarianism.


Probably "essentially" would have been a better word than "fundamentally." Keep in mind the neocons were once Democrats. They moved to the other party when they got an opening by way of Republicans' corporatism and support for defense contractors. They're only a part of the current coalition and that could change.

Recent economic policies like the constant effort to undermine Dodd-Frank and the growing influence of the Kochs, Ryans and Pauls just seems like empirical evidence the party is moving in the libertarian direction. Among other things, the fact that the number of Americans not affiliated with any church has been growing rapidly in the last few decades will eventually cause the R's to look for a base elsewhere. If the country does move towards democratic socialism it will make individualism and small government an even more potent theme.


Oh, just one more thing: The emerging class of high-tech industrialists is now more-or-less aligned with Democrats. However, they have strong libertarian tendencies and could jump to an R party that woos them by losing the moralistic elements, which are increasingly losers for them anyway. Think pot legalization and gay marriage.

No, two more things. PM would know much better than me, but I think the R's have historically had an isolationist streak that comes to the fore from time to time.

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