Could conservatives and libertarians form an alliance that will launch the GOP to a new ascendency? It’s possible. Excerpt:
The Republican Party, broadly speaking, is comprised of many factions that are often at odds with one another. Prominent examples are the battles between the grassroots and the national party establishment and between defense hawks and non-interventionists.
Perhaps fiercer than any of these fights is the long-standing conflict between social conservatives and libertarians. But when the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage last month, they created an opening for a wedding between these two groups, which could benefit the Republican Party ahead of the 2016 election.
To be clear, libertarians come in many stripes. There are those who reject the political system, those who ally themselves with the Libertarian Party itself, some who are working to change the Republican Party from within, and those who would only consider voting for a Republican candidate under certain circumstances.
In the considered opinion of yr. obdt., the recent Supreme Court decision has taken a question off the table that would not have helped the GOP next fall. Younger voters are broadly amenable to libertarian ideals and also support gay marriage by large margins; support it or not, GOP candidates can now, in response to questions on thee topic, simply reply “it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks now. Next question?” That will turn off some (maybe many) social conservatives but appeal to many libertarians and younger voters, and it’s important to note that the former as a portion of the populace is decreasing while the latter is increasing.
Strategically it may be well to have that issue off the table. You can talk about principles all you want, and nobody agrees more than I that principles are important, but before you can apply any of them, you first have to win elections.
This decision and a proper response to them may help the GOP win a slam-dunk victory in 2016. And given than Hillary Clinton is probably the candidate for the Dems (give Bernie Sanders a 1 in 10 long shot) it’s the GOP’s race to lose.
Never, however, should the electorate underestimate the GOP’s ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.