Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Libertarian-learning authors urge conservatives to vote Republicans out of office "mechanically" in order to rid GOP of proto-fascism and nativism



Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes have a rather bombastic article in the Atlantic for February, “Boycott the Republican Party”. Then “If conservatives want to save the GOP from itself, they need to vote mindlessly and mechanically against its nominees.”  I thought, there really exists a Mechanicsville, VA (near Richmond). 
  
The GOP, it argues, is badly infected with the nativism of Trump’s base that put Trump in the White House and that facilitated Russian interference with the whole process, from fake news bots in social media down to possibly trying to interfere with actual voting stations (CNBC story). 
    
The far Left is bad too, but not an existential threat to democratic processes. 


But it is very difficult to vote “passively” against someone – go to partisanship – if it means extolling the idea of lessening personal responsibility under the cover of claims of group oppression or “intersectionality”.  But I think a lot of conservatives have to deal with the feeling that meritocractic norms add meaning to their own lives:  it’s important to believe that other are judged by the same norms that “we” are;  it’s difficult to come out of that shell born of upward affiliation with “winning” to really “care” about people not in our normal orbits.

Particularly disturbing is the alt-right notion that journalists are enemies "of the people".  That's mostly been applied to the mainstream networks but later it could come down on individual writers and bloggers, as in China, in an attack against intellectual elitism and abstraction (which ironically sounds Communist -- Nazism was national "socialism"). 

Rauch had been the author in 1995 bookGay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America” from Times Books.  A singleton, he had argued, is an accident waiting to happen. Partisan politicians know that.  

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