Monday, August 08, 2005

Lind on the Democrats

Michael Totten links to an already much-commented-upon post by Michael Lind, which suggests that the Democrats should trade in their social liberalism for social conservatism. He thinks that doing so would be a way for the Democrats to regain a majority, while I think that it would be one of the few ways in which they could unambiguously suck more than they do now; I suppose both could be true.

In all seriousness, Lind might unfortunately be correct. I fear that he's right when he says that "the United States has a right-of-center majority with respect to social issues and a a left-of-center majority with respect to economic issues." In light of this, it is certainly plausible that the Democrats could regain the majority by moving to the right on social issues. Now, Totten might be right that the Democrats can't take this advice just because they won't be able to abandon their social liberalism; but the combination of social conservatism and economic liberalism is already beginning to be practiced (as Lind also notes) by Republicans. I don't really care which party becomes dominant by combining excessive government intervention in the economic sphere with excessive government intervention in the social sphere!

Lind's conclusion is that dark times are a-comin' for social liberals:
Social liberals can be the minority in a majority party. Or social liberals can be the majority in a minority party. But social liberals can't be the majority in a majority party--not in the United States, not in the foreseeable future. There just aren't enough social liberals in the American electorate.
He doesn't spare a thought for libertarians (whom he defines as socially liberal, but economically conservative), but of course by his analysis they're even more screwed. Not exactly news, I suppose.

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