We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
What’s driving the libertarian convergence of our two parties, as described by Edsall and Wehner? In a nutshell, the morality of capitalism has won. All of American life is being transformed by the imperatives of the 21st century global marketplace. The Koch brothers, we read, are “moderating” the Republican party by purging it of its concern with social issues, which are really just reactionary prejudices. Silicon Valley is “moderating” the progressivism of the Democratic party, purging it of policies that stifle growth and innovation by stripping members of the meritocracy of their honestly earned property and money. Impediments to globalization have fallen away, and the results are astonishing. More people than ever have access to the world past and present through what they can call up on their various screens, the average lifespan continues to get longer, and the realm of personal freedom or autonomy, as our Supreme Court explains, continues to grow. More than ever, America is defined by a meritocracy based on productivity. Race, class, gender, sexual orientation, even the imperatives of biology (such as birth and death), and so forth mean less than ever in constraining the opportunities for free and industrious individuals.
This libertarian convergence of opinion is clear in both parties...
The morality of capitalism has won? Really? The author of that piece must have missed who has been President since 2008 and who will probably be the next President in 2016 (Elizabeth Warren, champion of the $22/hour minimum wage).
My dad owned his own business, a pharmacy, and even he admitted before he died in 2007 that there is no way he could do the same thing in today's toxic mix of "You didn't build that" low-grade socialism. The fact that the housing market still hasn't recovered since 2007 should tell you all you need to know about the state of capitalism in this country right now....
I wish this convergence were true, but I don't see it happening.
The Democratic Party, in particular, has gone just the opposite way to what Lawler says -- the most growth-destroying parts of their agenda, especially eco-nut-ism and unionism, are now in firm control of that party and may be impervious to change. It doesn't help that the Democrats' "core voters" have attention spans of one sound bite, making it impossible to debate them rationally. They will simply call you a liar, then shout down anything you say.
Meanwhile the Republicans are in a tug-of-war between two factions -- the RNC/Karl Rove group who think they can win (and meaningfully win) by embracing big government and lobbyist payoffs just like the Democrats, and the poorly-led Tea Partiers who want to lower taxes and reduce the size of government, but yet won't let go of self-defeating policies such as wanting the borders closed and continuing the War on Drugs.
The only groups I see in the major parties that are anywhere close to being pro-liberty are a few think tanks (Club for Growth, AFP, AEI, OpenMarket.com, and arguably Cato) which have had some success among Republicans, but are being hugely out-spent by the RNC/Karl Rove faction. That needs to change if there's to be any hope for the country.