It must be snowing in San Diego right now, because I actually agree with Mike Lux on something. But he’s right about at least a couple of things about the modern Republican Party, as I would put it. Can you imagine what Barry Goldwater would’ve said had he heard Vice President Dick Cheney back in 2003, saying that deficits don’t matter? The Republican Party, still has that strong conservative libertarian wing, that I and Mike Lux I guess both respect. I for sure anyway, that is now led by Senator Rand Paul and a few others in and out of Congress.
But in Mr. Conservative Barry Goldwater’s day, the Neoconservatives and Religious-Right, were still a growing force. But the Goldwater-Reagan Republicans and their supporters still ran the party. We’ll see what 2016 looks like and how big a movement the Conservative Libertarians led by Senator Paul are. But since 1988 or so, a Republican couldn’t win the presidential nomination without having the Christian-Conservatives and Neoconservatives behind him. They also couldn’t win the presidential election without these two groups as well.
Back in the day, the Religious-Right and Neoconservatives, the Pat Robertson’s and Rick Santorum’s of the world, were seen as extremists. As dangerous to the Republican Party. Now, the Santorum’s and Mike Huckabee’s of the world are seen as major presidential contenders. But, that could change in 2016 depending on how big a movement the Paul Conservative Libertarians have become. And has the GOP returned to some form of sanity and really gotten back to their conservative libertarian routes. The Patriot Act debate in Congress the last few weeks, suggests that the GOP might be ready to get back to where they were. And move away from their big government Republicanism.
Back in the day, the GOP was the anti-big government party. Not the, “we don’t like your big government when it comes to economic policy. So we’re going to replace your big government with our big government. And stick it in the homes of every American. And show them by force what it means to be a real American.” Back in the day, deficits and debt not only did matter, but they mattered regardless if the President was a Democrat, or Republican and who was in control of Congress. Back in the day, Republicans weren’t in favor of invading countries, simply because they didn’t like the dictator who was in charge of the country. The GOP, up until the last few years, have taken the opposite positions on all of these issues.
I don’t agree with Conservative Libertarians on everything, obviously. Otherwise I would be a Conservative Libertarian, instead of a Liberal myself. But I can work and talk to Conservative Libertarians, because we tend to have similar principles. That we both believe individual freedom, both personal and economic. That we need an effective, but limited government doing for the people what we can’t do for ourselves. And then the debates and discussions become about what exactly government should be doing. How they should regulate and what services they should perform. Instead of should people have the freedom to do this or that for themselves.
American politics would be a lot more fun and interesting today for me as a Liberal Democrat, if the Republican Party didn’t have their big government neoconservative faction. And their anti-government Libertarian faction, that has almost no role for government. Which is more extreme than the Conservative Libertarians, who aren’t anti-government so much as they’re anti-big government, which is different. And whatever you think of Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, they’re not anti-government, or even in favor of big government into people’s personal lives, for the most part. Certainly for Senator Paul, on most if not all issues. And maybe we’ll see the GOP in 2016, move away from both their anti-government and big government trends and become a responsible political party again.
IW Boomer: Real Time With Bill Maher- The Modern Republican Party