The 1960s witnessed dialogue between social conservatives and libertarians. Its result was what we now know as modern American conservatism: a polity promoting traditional values and free market strategy.
Inclusion of evangelicals dramatically enhanced traditionalist power in the GOP during Ronald Reagan’s tenure. Some say Obama’s reelection may be the end of this era.
Others wonder if Republican establishment resistance to Congressman Ron Paul’s libertarian legion within the party also cost them the election.
There is a growing youth movement of highly organized, socially moderate, non-interventionist free marketeers who could bolt if their views aren’t made welcome.
Losing this “Ron Paul” wing to the Libertarian Party or as a vengeful swing vote would be costly. Critics say that fresh social perspectives are needed for Republicans to compete with recent electoral liberalism.
It seems high time to seriously consider a new fusionism. This time, the formula will be forced to address libertarian moderation on traditional values verses conservative absolutism in a way both sides can accept.
No mean feat to be sure.
At least three potential deal-breakers are on the table: abortion, foreign policy, and government bailouts.
The new fusionism’s stance on abortion alone looms as the ultimate deal-breaker.
The presence of a large, vocal pro-life GOP libertarian faction is welcome news to conservatives unlikely to budge on this defining issue.
Whether pro-choice libertarians stay on board to support other issues will sorely test this new coalition.
The same holds true for whether hawkish Republicans can embrace non-interventionism prized by libertarians within and outside party ranks.
Foreign policy, like abortion, can dissolve this coalition in its formative stages.
Likely agreement on opposing government bailouts to big business will be challenged should the new coalition veto aid in some future corporate crisis.
Hanging in the balance is the Republicans’ role as a viable national party if they are seen as too hard-line by a fiscally-frightened electorate.
Infusing libertarians into the GOP is infinitely better than making it “Democrat-lite” by reflecting its damaging social and economic policies.
The Republican Liberty Caucus can play a valuable role as well. They are already the new fusionism being suggested.
A strategic alliance between the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute would provide new policy reflective of this coalition.
The same goes for collaborations between Campaign For Liberty and conservative counterparts like Freedomworks. Rounding out the list is a united front between membership from Young Americans For Freedom and its libertarian peer, Young Americans For Liberty.
Whether a new fusionism results in post-2012 unity remains to be seen.
Not having it helps Democrats grow government, which is one point both sides are unanimous about.
Cap Black, The Hood Conservative, asks,
“ While conservatives and libertarians quibble, Democrats build a People’s Republic around them! ”
Help Cap Black Help Others!
” Be your OWN Superhero!”
Photo Credit: marsmet 541 (Creative Commons)
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