Friday, September 03, 2010

Nobody Likes Them Either

Pat Caddell, Jimmy Carter's pollster, says the Republicans will do well this November despite their unpopularity.

On Monday, Gallup released a new weekly poll showing Republicans leading Democrats by an unprecedented ten-point margin, 51 to 41 percent, in congressional voting preferences — the largest gap in Gallup’s history of tracking the midterm generic ballot. “I have never seen numbers like this,” Caddell says, shaking his head. “Unless Republicans can find some way to screw it up, they will win big, even though nobody really likes them, either.”
Now, my Republican friends, you might want to contemplate why you are unliked. Is it the failure to keep your promises? Or maybe too much emphasis on the Culture War? I'm sure the overspending in the Bush years didn't help. Which is not to say culture is unimportant. It is just a job the government can't do much about under our system. Why? Well our system safeguards liberty - mostly. Which means that suppression of unwanted (by some) cultures just forces them underground. Think about it: would you rather face underground cultures or face them openly and honestly?

The use of government in the culture wars is an admission of weakness. And given the choice between the strong horse and the weak horse, what do most people generally choose? As long as our system is biased towards privacy, a government enforced culture war is a losing proposition. I suppose that is why so many culture warriors are on about "there is no right to privacy in the Constitution", despite the plain wording of the Fourth Amendment. But that is not the real determining factor. The question is: do the people want to be free from government intrusion? Because privacy from government intrusion - a cherished American value - is a threat to the culture warriors' social engineering schemes.

So maybe there is a clue - the Republicans should stop threatening the American people with more laws. Maybe it should be like a balanced budget. No new laws unless older ones are repealed. The proportions are harder to define of course. But it wouldn't hurt to uphold the sentiment.

What would I like to see? A fiscally responsible party that was amenable to social liberty. I'm tired of the "there ought to be a law" party. I have a friend or two who feel the same way. Could be a signal. Or a trend.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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