Libertarians and the GOP, Fighting in the Mountains


Former Reason intern Ryan Sager, now with the NY Post, has a book out in September that promises to be of enduring interest to those contemplating the place of libertarians in electoral politics: The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians and the Battle to Control the Republican Party. Sager discussed a portion of his thesis in the July/August issue of The Atlantic, and follows-up with this interesting post at Real Clear Politics.

The point he's arguing (this is only one of his book's arguments):

Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming…are on their way to becoming the next great swing region in American politics. As the Republican Party tilts on its South-West axis, increasingly favoring southern values (religion, morality, tradition) over western ones (freedom, independence, privacy), the Democrats have been presented with a tremendous opportunity. If the Republican Party doesn't want to lose its hold over all of the West, as it lost hold of once-reliable California more than a decade ago, its leaders are going to have to rethink their embrace of big-government, big-religion conservatism.

People have been jabbing at this idea, and the linked post gets to Sager jabbing back, defending his notions that migrating Californians may well be "purpling" that region of the West, that libertarians are not utterly politically irrelevant, that Dem victories in Colorado recently have been because of the GOP there's falling in thrall to Christian conservatives, and in general that the GOP really ought to think of becoming more the Party that libertarians might like it to be.