Mike Kole has a great post on the war between neo-con/Rawlsian liberal + social conservative/modern Republicans and libertarian/classical libertarians/faux-cons. Read it here. This is the battle for the “soul” of the GOP.
I maintain that if the GOP continues to deny rights in the name of religion, they will become a permanent minority with my generation. We are entering a time where the media and American popular thought consider being religious (especially Christianity) as insane a belief as 9-11 truthers, and people who believe the free masons control the world. (For the record, I am a believer in Christ and proud of it. I believe 9-11 was as we saw. I also believe that the free mason’s are really just a boy scouts for old men.)
I wrestled for a long while with the question of honoring my religious beliefs by writing it into public policy, but I never could quite accept that I was denying rights to others. You are either denying a person’s first amendment rights, or denying their pursuit to hapiness. Most Americans agree. Most Americans want to be left alone, and want as much of their money as possible.
Unfortunately for the GOP, they couldn’t stop hammering away at the Gay Rights issue. Most under 30 have many gay friends, and are accepting of this different lifestyle. To millenials, the GOP looks bigoted, and hypocritical when it preaches freedom. They also look completely hypocritical when they preach free markets, capitalism, less spending, and less government. See this great break down of Bush’s recent bailout speech by Matt Welch. So there should be no suprise that 80% of my generation voted Democrat, and many others were fans of Ron Paul or Libertarians.
So if the GOP wants to ever see the majority again, they need to move to a more libertarian stance. Social Conservatives will dwindle as my generation moves up in years. But the GOP has no guts, and are afraid to take a stance on principles. They won’t fight for more freedom and less government, because one isn’t popular with the base (the Christian Right/donor base/talking heads), and the other part isn’t popular with the media. So they don’t want to lose power, and will continue to make mistakes, move left, and be made to look like fools. Principled libertarians like myself will figure it out, get frustrated, and leave in disgust. That is why I believe the Libertarian Party will be competitive with the GOP eventually. The GOP will soon be considered the whigs.