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Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Toward a libertarian-millennial alliance

Millennials and small-government conservatives share many of the same beliefs. They're natural allies.

T he morning after the election, the news reporters wiped off their tears and cleaned off their smeared mascara to tell us in stressed tones of disbelief that Donald Trump will be our next president. The Guardian called it a red tide. Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC looked sleepless and grim; some of the panel members looked suicidal. Mika cast her eyes down saying “He won. Oh my God!”; the audience, some with their arms folded, acted stunned into stony silence.

Well, maybe they're always like that; I don't watch MSNBC very often. But the voters did more than pull us back from Obama's left-wing divisiveness. Trump's boundless optimism and self-confidence resonated with the voters, showing us there is still a spark of optimism left in America. Most of all, the voters rejected corruption.

But the old political landscape has been shattered. Just as there are two distinct Republican parties, there are also two distinct Democratic parties. The one we're used to seeing was represented by Hillary Clinton. She was essentially a neocon in disguise, which is why so many of the real neocons, a misleading term if there ever was one, flocked to her. Clues were her mistrust of Russia, a characteristic trait of neoconservatism, which was founded on cold war antipathies, her Benghazi fiasco, and her saber-rattling over Syria.

Hillary represented the corporate media, the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Democrat party machine—all of which showed themselves to be corrupt. Hers was the party that rigged the Democratic primaries, magically won six out of six coin tosses in Iowa, and stacked the deck with phony superdelegates to ensure that Bernie Sanders would never get a fair chance.

Many millennials and leftist libertarians, who oppose what they call the war machine, disliked her. Yes, some of them want free college tuition and hate big business. So, okay, maybe they are a little confused. But I suspect at some level they also felt the same mistrust of big government and the establishment party machine.

These voters never found a good candidate. They voted for a socialist without actually being socialists themselves. They didn't care that much about ideology, about which they understood little. Sometimes they seemed too concerned with fashionable causes like climate change and gay marriage. They voted for Obama not because they agreed with his racially divisive policies, but because the media tricked them into thinking he'd try to bring us together. But mostly they too were just sick of all the corruption.

The real winners of this election were the religious conservatives. They stuck to their beliefs and showed that they are not the party of aggressive, money-grubbing TV preachers as the establishment media portrayed them. They just wanted to bake their cakes as they saw fit and live their lives in peace.

Hmm, now that I write it down, it does sound like a pretty big list of differences. But those differences, which are somewhere between the Grand Canyon and the Valles Marinerus, are not as wide as those between the Repub­lican establishment and the Trump supporters, or between the Democratic establishment and the Sanders fans.

The electorate has evolved into two real parties:

 Party A  Party B
Neocons Libertarian right
Republican establishment Libertarian left
Democrat establishment Trump supporters
Hillary supporters Sanders supporters
Country club Republicans Much of Internet media
Never Trumpers Millennials
Corporate news media
Madonna / old Hollywood

I suspect that what Party B really cares about is corruption and war. That's what the Party A complex represents to them: the grubby aspects of establishment power and its corrupting influence. That's why so many refused to support Hillary, and why so many conservatives refused to support Jeb Bush.

If the libertarian left and millennials can extricate themselves from their love of big government and their outdated opinions about religious conservatives, we may discover we have more in common with them than with the establishment machine that brought us so close to catastrophe.

The voters have decisively rejected the corrupt establishment on both sides. A millennial-libertarian coalition might not sound like a likely friendship, but they have much in common. It could be enough to create a powerful alliance. It will be needed.

Last edited nov 09 2016, 9:03 am

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