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3/20/2005

American Taliban

A pet peeve of mine: people who describe themselves as "libertarians" but who vote Republican, willing to compromise on the issue of individual liberty for the sake of a slightly lower tax rate. Often, they rationalize this by claiming that the agenda of the Religious Right will never actually be enacted.

Earlier, I took note of one particular manifestation of the theocratic tendencies of the GOP:

By the way, note that the idea of outlawing sex outside of marriage is advocated by many of the Religious Right. Republican-voting libertarians: this is who you have allied yourselves with!


Eric
Cowperthwaite took issue with this, saying:

The truth is that the GOP is not going to get most of their social program to go anywhere at all.


This delusion is a common, and extremely dangerous, one. Unfortunately, it is one shared by some on the Left as well, such as Thomas Frank, the author of What's the Matter with Kansas? Contrary to Eric's claim that the GOP won't get their social program "to go anywhere at all," the fact is that they already have significantly advanced the agenda of the Religious Right, and show no signs of slowing down.

Bush and the Republican Congress have been steadily chipping away at women's rights. In addition to signing legislation prohibiting late-term abortions and attempting to pack the judiciary with anti-choice judges, federal regulators under Bush's watch have blocked access to over-the-counter morning-after contraception.

And anyone who thinks that Roe v. Wade is not in danger, guess again. Bush has already indicated that he plans to nominate Supreme Court justices in the mould of Scalia and Thomas, both rabidly anti-choice. I would like libertarian-minded GOP-voters to give me one reason why Bush won't make good on this promise.

The belief that there should be no wall between government and God is a mainstream one within the Republican Party. Scalia believes that the US government derives its authority from God. Rehnquist has said that the " 'wall of separation between church and state' is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned." The loyalties of most Republicans lie not with individual liberty but with the law of God, which they would like to see enforced by the U.S. government. Libertarians who pretend otherwise are simply fooling themselves.

The GOP has made it clear: they stand against the right to privacy, to reproductive choice, to sexual autonomy. Is it really worth the tax cuts, libertarians? Is it really worth the rolling-back of regulations on big business? How long will libertarians continue to say to themselves, paraphrasing Krusty the Clown:

Well, the GOP is dedicated to eradicating civil liberties, destroying a 200+ year tradition of secular government, and imposing biblical law, but man ... I'm aching for that upper-class tax cut!


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