What about the workers? 1

The Democratic Party has become the Party of Wall Street billionaires, Hollywood stars, Silicon Valley whizz-kids, and the ruthless Utopians of the Ivory Tower.

Its “progressivism” harks back to the last century. Its concerns are mystical like those of all religions: the earth burning up; the end of days; the humbling of humankind; the profound spiritual need for the Holy Family Clinton and its angels to reign over the whole earth.

Its high priests are richly dressed and housed, driven in stately carriages, flown on the wings of Boeings.

Still, it claims to have a bleeding heart. Ask not for whom it bleeds. Obviously, dull-witted Underdog, it bleeds for thee!

James Pinkerton writes at Breitbart:

The Democrats, once the party of working people, are now a party dominated by environmentalists and multiculturalists. And I can prove it.

As we shall see, when Democrats must choose between … providing jobs for workers, and … favoring politically-correct constituency groups — they choose the PC groups.

Indeed, the old assumptions about the Democrats as the party of labor are nowadays so tangled and conflicted that the unions themselves are divided. Some unions are sticking with their blue-collar heritage, but more are aligning themselves with the new forces of political correctness — and oh, by the way, big money.

The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, running through four states — from western North Dakota to southern Illinois — would create an estimated 4,500 unionized jobs.  That is to say, good jobs at good wages: The median entry-level salary for a pipeline worker in North Dakota is $38,924.

Yet the advancement of what was once called the “labor movement” is no longer a Democratic priority.  The new priorities are heeding the goals of “progressive” groups — in this instance, Native Americans and the greens. Indeed, this new progressive movement is so strong that even many unions are climbing aboard the bandwagon, even if that means breaking labor’s united front. To illustrate this recent rupture, here’s a headline from the The Huffington Post: “Dakota Access Pipeline Exposes Rift In Organized Labor.” Let’s let Huffpo labor reporter Dave Jamieson set the scene:

The nation’s largest federation of labor unions upset some of its own members last week by endorsing the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota. Some labor activists, sympathetic to Native American tribes and environmentalists, called upon the AFL-CIO to retract its support for the controversial project.

In response to the criticism, Sean McGarvey, head of the AFL-CIO’s building-trades unions, fired right back; speaking of pipeline opponents, McGarvey declared that they have …

… once again seen fit to demean and call for the termination of thousands of union construction jobs in the Heartland.  I fear that this has once again hastened a very real split within the labor movement.

Yes, it’s become quite a fracas within the House of Labor: so much for the old slogan, “Solidarity Forever!” We can note that typically, it’s the old-style construction unions — joined, perhaps, by other industrial workers, if not the union leadership — who support construction projects, while the new-style public-employee unions side with the anti-construction activists.

In the meantime, for its part, the Democratic Party has made a choice: It now firmly sides with the new progressives.

To cite just one ‘frinstance, we can examine the July 2016 Democratic national platform, released at the Philadelphia convention. That document includes a full 16 paragraphs on “climate change”, as well as 14 paragraphs on the rights and needs of “indigenous tribal nations”. Here’s one of those paragraphs; as we can readily see, Democrats are striving mightily to synthesize the demands of both groups, green and red:

We are committed to principles of environmental justice in Indian Country and we recognize that nature in all its life forms has the right to exist, persist, maintain, and regenerate its vital cycles. We call for a climate change policy that protects tribal resources, protects tribal health, and provides accountability through accessible, culturally appropriate participation and strong enforcement. Our climate change policy will cut carbon emission, address poverty, invest in disadvantaged communities, and improve both air quality and public health. We support the tribal nations efforts to develop wind, solar, and other clean energy jobs.

By contrast, the Democratic platform included a mere two skimpy paragraphs on workers and wages.

Some Democrats are troubled by this shift in priorities, away from New Deal-ish lunch-bucket concerns — because, as a matter of fact, it’s a shift away from the very idea of economic growth. For example, William Galston, a top White House domestic-policy aide to Bill Clinton in the 90s, had this to say about the Democrats’ latest platform:

The draft is truly remarkable — for example, its near-silence on economic growth. . . . Rather, the platform draft’s core narrative is inequality, the injustice that inequality entails, and the need to rectify it through redistribution.

… Perhaps it seems strange that a political party would lose interest in such an obvious political staple as economic growth. And yet if we look more closely, we can see, from the perspective of the new Democrats, that this economic neglect makes a kind of sense: We can note, for example, that the financial heart of the green movement is made up of billionaires; they have all the money they need — and, thanks to their donations, they have a disproportionate voice.

One of these noisy green fat cats is San Francisco’s Tom Steyer, who contributed $50 million to Democratic campaigns in 2014 and has been spending heavily ever since. We can further point out: If Steyer chooses to assign a higher value to his eco-conscience than to jobs for ordinary Americans, well, who in his rarified Bay Area social stratum is likely to argue with him?

Admittedly, billionaires are few in number — even in the Democratic Party. Yet at the same time, many other groups of Democratic voters aren’t necessarily concerned about the vagaries of the economy, because they, too, in their own way, are insulated from its ups and downs. That is, they get their check, no matter what.

The most obvious of these groups, of course, are government employees.  … Public-sector workers have an obvious class-interest in voting Democratic, and they know it — lots of Lois Lerners in this group.

Then there are the recipients of government benefits. … Welfare recipients, for example, are overwhelmingly Democratic. And Democratic politicians, of course, know this electoral calculus full well. Indeed, in this era of slow economic growth, nearly 95 million Americans over the age of 16 are not in the labor force; not all of them are receiving a check from the government, but most are. And that has political consequences.

We can take this reality — economic stagnation on the one hand, economic dependence on the other —a  step further: If the Democrats can find the votes they need from the plutocrats and the poor — or near-poor, plus public employees — then they can make a strategic choice: They can ignore the interests of working-class people in the private sector, and they can still win.

So for this cynical reason, the Democrats’ decision to stiff the working stiffs who might have worked on the Dakota pipeline was an easy one.

We can sum up the Democrats’ strategy more concisely: In socioeconomic terms, they will go above the working class, and also below the working class. That is, they will be the party of George Soros and Al Sharpton. So no room, anywhere, for the blue collars. (Of course, if any of those would-be pipeline workers end up on public assistance, well, they’ll have a standing offer to join the Democratic fold.)

We can see this Soros-Sharpton coalition in America’s electoral geography: The Democrats expect to sweep the upper east side of Manhattan, and, at the same time, they expect to sweep the south side of Chicago. Moreover, this high-low pattern appears everywhere: Greenwich and the ghetto, Beverly Hills and the barrio.  

In addition, Democrats can expect to do well in upper-middle class suburban enclaves, as well as college towns. And so if we add all those blocs together, plus the aforementioned public-employee unions, we can see that the Democrats have their coalition …  a 2016 victory coalition.

So now we can see the logic of the Democrats’ policy choices. And we can even add an interesting bit of backstory to the Democrats’ 2016 platform. In June, as a concession to the insurgency of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton’s campaign agreed to include a contingent of Sanders supporters on the 15-member platform-drafting committee.

Specifically, the Clinton camp accepted the Palestinian-American activist James Zogby, the Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the environmental activist Bill McKibben, the African-American activist Cornel West, and the Native American activist Deborah Parker. …

The unions got a grand total of one name on that 15-member body. … So we can see: Big Labor isn’t so big anymore; it is now reduced to token status within the party.

Given this new correlation of forces, it’s no surprise that top Democrats oppose the Dakota pipeline. …

In this new era of green-first politics, the anti-pipeline forces must win, and the pro-pipeliners must lose. …

For her part, Hillary Clinton certainly knows where she stands: She’s with the new eco- and multicultural Democrats, not the old unionists — who were, after all, mostly “deplorable.” As she said to a cheering campaign crowd earlier this year, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

To be sure, Clinton has a heart — a taxpayer-funded heart. In fact, she has offered to put all those soon-to-be ex-coal workers on the government dole; she has proposed a $30 billion program for them.

Yet whether or not Congress ever approves that $30 billion, it’s a safe bet that if Clinton wins, more fossil-fuel workers will need to find some new way of earning a living. After all, just last year, the Obama administration pledged that the U.S. would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025. And whereas Donald Trump has promised to scrap those growth-flattening CO2 targets, Clinton has promised to maintain them.

Indeed, during Monday night’s debate in New York, she promised to install “half a billion more solar panels” as part of her plan, she said, to create 10 million new jobs.

We can quickly observe that most blue collars don’t seem to trust Clinton with their livelihoods; Trump beats her among non-college-educated men by a whopping 59 points. Yet at the same time, we can add that if Trump leads among blue collars by “only” 59 points, that might not be enough for him to overcome Clinton’s advantage — her huge strength among the Soros-Sharpton coalition.

And here we can note, with some perplexity, that the leadership of the industrial unions is still mostly in lockstep with the Democrats. That residual partisan loyalty to the party of FDR might cost their members their jobs now that the Democrats have found policy goals other than mass employment, but hey, perhaps the union bosses themselves can get jobs at Hillary’s Department of Labor.

So if Clinton wins this November, what will happen to the private-sector blue collars, especially those in the traditional energy sector?

Sadly, we already know the answer to that question; the only unresolved matter is how they might react.

The Party of the American princess, the professor, the fashionable the cool the glamorous, the very rich and the very safe is the Party of the party. Of parties in Manhattan, Nob Hill, Santa Monica, Bel Air.

But its heart bleeds for … Oh, you know, blacks and Hispanics and gays and women and Muslims and …

And the workers?

You gotta believe it.

If you don’t … all you can do is vote Trump for President.

The Democratic Party: the party of slavery and black oppression 3

The Left habitually re-writes history – because its own history is appalling. It should not be allowed to get away with it.

Statement of DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

June 22, 2015

For decades community leaders in South Carolina – and across the country – have been calling to get rid of this symbol of hatred, and action has been long overdue. But this is just the beginning of a conversation we as a society need to have about race, bigotry and violence in this country – not the end of one.

Jeffrey Lord writes an open letter in reply, posted at the American Spectator. We quote most of it:

Dear Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz:

I note with interest [your] statement … with regard to the controversy over the flying of the Confederate flag on the grounds of the South Carolina State Capitol.

Good enough. It’s good to know you wish to begin this conversation and I am happy to oblige. Let me begin with this question:

Will the Democratic Party finally apologize for supporting slavery, segregation, lynching, and the Ku Klux Klan?

Let me recall these lines from some of your party platforms.

From your 1840 platform:

Resolved, That congress has no power, under the constitution, to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several states, and that such states are the sole and proper judges of everything appertaining to their own affairs, not prohibited by the constitution; that all efforts by abolitionists or others, made to induce congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences, and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people, and endanger the stability and permanency of the union, and ought not to be countenanced by any friend to our political institutions.

And again in your 1844 platform:

That Congress has no power, under the Constitution, to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several States; and that such States are the sole and proper judges of everything pertaining to their own affairs, not prohibited by the Constitution; that all efforts, by abolitionists or others, made to induce Congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences, and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people and endanger the stability and permanency of the Union, and ought not to be countenanced by any friend to our Political Institutions.

This staunch support for slavery — not to mention the unsubtle threat that accompanied it (there would be “alarming and dangerous consequences” if serious attempts to abolish it were made) is repeated again in your party platforms of 1848 and 1852.

By 1856, your party’s support of slavery was expanded in your newest platform, with several additional sections added including vowing: “That the Democratic party will resist all attempts at renewing, in Congress or out of it, the agitation of the slavery question under whatever shape or color the attempt may be made.”

In 1860 your platform said: “Resolved, That the Democratic party will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States upon these questions of Constitutional law.” This was, in fact, an endorsement of the infamous Dred Scott decision by the Court, a decision which legal scholars say was designed to write slavery into the Constitution. And your party approved of it.

As the Civil War was ending your party opposed the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment — which ended slavery. Among those who opposed ending slavery was Congressman Fernando Wood. Wood (as noted in Bruce Bartlett’s Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past) was not only a member from New York, he was a former mayor of New York. Wood explained why he and the vast majority of the House Democratic Caucus — in which you now sit — opposed ending slavery.

The Almighty has fixed the distinction of the races; the Almighty has made the black man inferior, and, sir, by no legislation, by no military power, can you wipe out this distinction.…The condition of domestic servitude as existing in the southern states is the highest condition of which the African race is capable…

Likewise your party opposed not only the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments that gave legal rights to African-Americans as well as the right to vote, your party supporters banded together to form the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan being described by University of North Carolina historian Allen Trelease as the “terrorist arm of the Democratic Party,” while historian Eric Foner of Columbia University calls the Klan “a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party.”

For decades your party gave free rein to the Klan and its rabid, racist violence. In 1924 the Klan ran your Democratic Convention in New York’s Madison Square Garden, known to history as the “Klan bake” convention. Time and time and time again your party selected Klan members to represent it in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House as well as state governorships and all manner of local officials.

Your party used this support to win the congressional power that passed everything from the creation of the Federal Reserve to Social Security. One of the latter’s notable supporters, in fact, was Mississippi’s Senator Theodore Bilbo, a proud supporter of Social Security who boasted of his membership in the Klan.

One troubling sign of just how close was your party’s relationship with the Klan was President Franklin Roosevelt’s appointment of Alabama’s liberal New Deal Senator Hugo Black to the Supreme Court. Black held a “golden passport” — aka a lifetime membership in the Klan. Decades later, in 1968, Justice Black wrote:

President Roosevelt… told me there was no reason for my worrying about my having been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. He said some of his best friends and supporters he had in the state of Georgia were among members of the organization. He never in any way, by word or attitude, indicated any doubt about my having been in the Klan nor did he indicate any criticism of me for having been a member of that organization.

Black was far from alone with his Klan connections in your party. The notorious Eugene “Bull” Connor, the Birmingham, Alabama Public Safety Commissioner who unleashed both police dogs and fire hoses on civil rights protesters in 1963, was both a Klan member and a member of your Democratic National Committee. There isn’t enough space to list the elected leaders of your party who served under the hoods of the Klan and supported the savage violence inflicted on black Americans for decades.

From the rabidly segregationist President Woodrow Wilson (who showcased the pro-Klan Birth of a Nation film in the White House and also made certain his segregationist and progressive Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels segregated the Navy) to other prominent Democrats, your party has been the home of those who use race to win elections and make public policy. Senators with names like South Carolina’s James F. Byrnes (also an FDR Court appointee and Truman’s Secretary of State) or Georgia’s powerful Richard Russell …  were typical of the honored roles bestowed on the rawest of racists by your party. …

The real damage done by your party with its culture of race and violence has been to create exactly the climate in which the Dylann Roofs of America feel they can operate. Note well that the roommate of the Charleston killer said that Roof was a “segregationist” — which is to say he was precisely emulating the culture that your party has spent two centuries creating and celebrating.

Isn’t it time for your party to finally apologize for all of this horrendous behavior that your party is directly responsible for? Isn’t it time for the Democratic Party to finally own up and apologize to black Americans?

Generally we think it rather foolish for people living now to apologize for what past generations did, but in this case an apology would at least be an acknowledgment of guilt. Our experience is that when Democrats are reminded of their past as slavery supporters, they insist the Party changed so completely that the present one has no connection whatsoever with what the old Party did. Yet they also like to say they are the oldest political party in the world – which implies there was no break. Oh well – the Left never minds contradicting itself. It has no sense of hypocrisy. It has no shame.

Suddenly there is much talk about removing Confederate flags from this or that state capitol where politicians of your party — like South Carolina’s then-governor Ernest “Fritz” Hollings — placed them in the first place. Now talk is abroad about removing statues of “Confederates” — meaning prominent Democrats — from the U.S. Capitol and some state capitols. The statue of Democrat Jefferson Davis — the ex-president of the Confederacy who also served as a Democratic Congressman, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of War in a Democratic administration — has been mentioned for possible removal from its place in Kentucky’s state capitol.

Interesting. A growing mass call to remove the names of one prominent Democrat after another from the public square. One has to ask? Is it time to rename the Woodrow Wilson Bridge that crosses the Potomac from Virginia to Washington, the latter a majority black city? If so, may I suggest the name of Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first black U.S. Senator — in 1870? Oh yes, Senator Revels was also a Republican.

Calls for slavery “reparations” are occasionally heard. And in the spirit of Charleston perhaps the question should be asked directly of you as Chair of the Democratic Party.

Will the Democratic Party itself pay reparations to black Americans? Reparations for those party platforms that supported slavery? Not to mention for passing all those segregationist laws that were deliberately designed to evade the 14th and 15th amendments of the Constitution? Reparations for using the Ku Klux Klan as the “terrorist arm of the Democratic Party” — with that terror directly targeting black Americans?

We are not for the paying of reparations to people who live now and suffered no injury. No reparation is possible to the dead. But if these questions make Democrats squirm, let them be asked!

You, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz, along with President Obama and former Secretary Clinton, talk of what happened in Charleston by mentioning the need to discuss “race bigotry and violence” (you), or saying of racism that “societies don’t, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior” (President Obama) or calling the Charleston attack “an act of racist terror” (Secretary Clinton). But somehow you never get around to saying just who was doing all of this — your political party. The Democrats.

In fact, as I noted in 2008, the Democratic National Committee — on the eve of the Obama nomination — went out of its way to deliberately erase a full fifty years of Democratic Party history from the official DNC website. What was erased? All reference to your party’s role in slavery, segregation, lynching, and the rest. Those platforms that supported slavery, mentioned above? The number of Democrats who occupied the White House while owning slaves? The platforms that supported segregation — and the Democratic presidents, senators, governors and more who supported segregation? The tie between Democrats and the Klan? All of this and more was simply gone from your website — deliberately and willfully hidden from voters while trying to leave the impression that your party was a historically enthusiastic supporter of civil rights. Which, to understate, is not true.

Amid all the tragedy of Charleston, I would suggest that it is finally time for the Democratic Party — the party you chair — to come forward and admit its role in this long-running national horror. It’s time — way, way past time — for an apology. An apology directly from the leaders of the Democratic Party to black Americans, not to mention the rest of the country, for what your party has done.

And instead of raising all those millions for the next election? How about raising some millions from all your rich donors to pay black Americans for the damage you have done to them since the inception of your slavery/segregation and race-based party in 1800?

Damage that has now, yet again, brought violence and tragedy from someone inspired by your ugly history. It would seem, at a minimum, that now is the time to apologize for — instead of ignore or hide — that history.

A more libertarian Republican Party? 2

This report, by Ross Tilchin, comes from the left-leaning Brookings Institution. It is titled On the libertarian challenge within the GOP.

Would a stronger appeal to libertarian values help the Republican Party win elections? This was one of the central questions raised during a discussion of the Public Religion Research Institute’s (PRRI’s) American Values Survey, “In Search of Libertarians in America,” launched at the Brookings Institution on October 29th, 2013.

Libertarianism has become a major part of the political conversation in the United States, thanks in large part to the high profile presidential candidacy of Ron Paul, the visibility of his son Rand in the United States Senate, and Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s well-known admiration of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. And the tenets of libertarianism square with the attitudes of an American public dissatisfied with government performance, apprehensive about government’s intrusiveness into private life, and disillusioned with U.S. involvement overseas. Libertarianism is also distinct from the social conservatism that has handicapped the Republican Party in many recent elections among women and young people.

Within this context, libertarians seem likely to exercise greater sway on the Republican Party than at any other point in the recent past. But a closer look at public attitudes points to many factors that will limit the ability of libertarians to command greater influence within the GOP caucus.

First, according to the PRRI poll, libertarians represent only 12% of the Republican Party. This number is consistent with the findings of other studies by the Pew Research Center and the American National Election Study. This libertarian constituency is dwarfed by other key Republican groups, including white evangelicals (37%) and those who identify with the Tea Party (20%). Tea Party members are much more likely to identify with the religious right than they are with libertarianism. More than half of Tea Partiers (52%) say they are a part of the religious right or the conservative Christian movement, and more than one-third (35%) specifically identify as white evangelical Protestants. In contrast, only 26% of Tea Partiers were classified as libertarians on PRRI’s Libertarian Orientation Scale.

While these groups are similarly conservative on economic matters (indeed, libertarians are further to the right than white evangelicals or Tea Partiers on some economic issues, such as raising the minimum wage), they are extremely divided by their views on religion.

Only 53% of libertarians describe religion as the most important thing or one among many important things in their lives.

Only? We’re surprised there are so many. More than half!

By comparison, 77% of Tea Party members say that religion is either the most important thing or one among many important things in their lives, and – not surprisingly – 94% of white evangelicals say that religion is either the most important thing or one among many important things in their lives. A full 44% of libertarians say that religion is not important in their lives or that religion is not as important as other things in their lives. Only 11% of Tea Party members and 1% of white evangelicals say that religion is not important in their lives.

There are evangelicals who say that? Evangelicals in name only, then? EINOs.

Additionally, libertarians are among the most likely to agree that religion causes more problems in society than it solves (37% total: 17% completely agreeing, 20% mostly agreeing); the least likely to agree that it is important for children to be brought up in a religion so they can learn good values (35% total: 13% completely disagree, 22% disagree); and the least likely to think it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values (63% total: 30% completely disagree, 33% mostly disagree).

About a third of the surveyed libertarians find it necessary to believe in a heavenly Lord? Astonishing.

These stark differences in attitudes toward religion help explain the large difference in view between libertarians and other conservatives on social issues such as abortion, physician-assisted suicide, and marijuana legalization. Given their positions on these contentious social matters, it is very difficult to envision Libertarians gaining the support of socially conservative voters in the Republican Party.

Libertarians’ influence on the Republican Party is also limited by geography. Libertarians are broadly dispersed across the country – and even where they are most regionally concentrated, they are outnumbered by Tea Partiers and White Evangelicals. …

Of the 10 states that Sorens identifies as having the most libertarians, only New Hampshire, Nevada, and Georgia had spreads of 8 points or less in the 2012 presidential election. The other seven were either solidly red (Montana, Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Wyoming, and Utah) or solidly blue (Washington and Oregon).

As such, there seems little impetus for any ideological change of course in these states—not to mention the South writ large, the region with the greatest level of libertarian support — since they are already so stoutly Republican. Perhaps in individual districts with a particular libertarian bent, libertarian candidates could have some electoral success. But any candidate running as a libertarian would, by the nature of libertarianism, have to emphasize their laissez-faire values on social issues. If running for higher office, this would surely alienate more socially conservative voters, so strongly represented in the Republican Party in these areas.

The business establishment of the Republican Party would seem a natural libertarian ally, given its moderate views on social issues, opposition to government regulation, and natural sympathy for classical economics. But this view is contested by Henry Olsen of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. At the recent Brookings discussion, Olsen argued that the business community consists of “people who are generally but not intensely opposed to government expansion, people who are generally but not intensely supportive of personal social liberties, people who are generally but not intensely suspicious of intervention abroad. That is the center of the Republican Party, not the libertarian alliance.” The very intensity of the libertarian movement is, as Olsen observed, “a bit off-putting to the person in the middle.” …

Though the states with the most libertarians are primarily rural, libertarians are also wealthier than average, better educated than average, and young (indeed, 62% of libertarians are under the age of 50) — three demographic sets that tend to live in densely populated areas. Heavily populated areas are overwhelmingly Democratic. It is not clear how many of voters in these areas would support a more libertarian Republican [candidate]. Regardless, it is even less likely that libertarianism would tilt the balance in urban counties towards the GOP’s way. …

For a variety of reasons, the burden falls on libertarians to demonstrate how they will change these dynamics. While there may be real appeal for some for Republicans to embrace a more libertarian approach, the undercurrents of the party do not paint an encouraging picture for this as a successful electoral strategy. …

The cornerstone of libertarianism — a fervent belief in the pre-eminence of personal liberty — leads libertarians to hold views on social issues that fall far outside of the mainstream of large portions of the Republican Party. In addition, libertarians’ greatest concentrations in numbers tend to fall either in small, sparsely populated states with less national political power, or among younger individuals who live predominantly in densely populated, Democratic areas. This culminates in an environment where political and demographic forces across the United States and within the Republican Party itself severely limit the power and growth of libertarians as a force within the GOP.

Scott Shackford, writing at Reason, comments on the report:

I take slight issue with the analysis, though perhaps not the conclusion. What’s left out is the very libertarian idea that just because libertarians don’t see religion as an important component to their own lives, that doesn’t mean we would object to others who decide otherwise. And believing that “religion causes more problems in society than it solves” should not be taken to mean that a libertarian believes the government should implement policies in a pursuit to “fix” these problems.

Obviously there is disagreement, but it’s not actually, literally about faith. The disagreement is about the extent of and justifications for the use of government force. To say that religious beliefs should not be used to determine whether it should be legal to get an abortion or get married is not to say that people shouldn’t use religion to make these decisions for themselves in their own lives.

Given the libertarian rejection of government coercion, who else is better suited to even approach these issues with social conservatives? Who outside of libertarians is arguing in favor of same-sex marriages getting the same legal recognition as heterosexual marriages, while at the same time arguing that no church should be obligated to recognize them, nor should any business be dragooned into providing goods and services for them?

Rather than seeing libertarians in opposition to social conservatives, it’s more helpful to see libertarians as allies in protecting the civil liberties of the religious even as they lose cultural influence. Libertarians may not be able to “take over” the Republican Party (not that they should stop trying), but the party itself may be in deep trouble if these factions cannot find points of agreement.

One point that emerges from the data and the discussion as a whole is that the issue of personal liberty is assumed to be of no concern at all to the Democratic Party.

If the Republican Party – for all its faults – is so clearly the party of liberty, then all the straining by these earnest scholars of the Left to prove it is mostly the party of religious nuts and southern fuddy-duddies, is wasted effort. Those who want to be free need to vote Republican. Those who want Big Brother (or Daddy or Nanny) Government to run their lives, and keep them dependent on the whims of bureaucrats and collectivist ideologues, will vote Democratic.

If only the Republican Party could learn how to get voters to understand that that is the choice.