Lot of angst out there among the Republican Establishment facing the Era of Trump. They are facing a candidate who combines a fatal toxic brew of nativism/racism with economic and foreign policy stances that (to the extent they are even coherent) go against every tenet of Conservative orthodoxy on both sides of the Reagan/Elder Bush divide: American leadership of international coalitions, hostility to taxes and the welfare state, willing submission to the power of free markets and free movement of (untaxed) capital. And so some in the #NeverTrump camp are floating the idea of an independent or third party candidate. But are faced with a fatal flaw: for practical purposes they can’t get on the ballot in enough States to be anything but a spoiler.
On the other hand there is an existing Party that has that ballot access and one that is in accord with the Republican establishment on most of the latter’s basic agenda. The Libertarian Party. And what are the main obstacle to a merger? Pot and gay marriage. And why does the Republican Establishment give a crap about either? Because they have been pandering to the Base dominated by white evangelicals. But those people have turned on the Establishment anyway and truth be told most of the 1% know plenty of gay people in New York or Silicon Valley and if they didn’t toke a little in college have kids and trusted subordinates that did.
So if they just give way on those two issues there is every prospect of forming a three way coalition of Establishment Republicans, Libertarians, and even Third Way/No Labelers. Maybe they can call it the Freedom and Property Party. Or if they have a sense of humor the Milton Friedman Property Party. Because as I have argued before classical Conservatism and classical Liberalism/Libertarianism share a common philosophical principle: that the only (or main) legitimate function of government is the protection of private property. With the main difference being that Conservatives define ‘property’ in a way that assumes patriarchal authority over the family/household.
Feel free to treat this post as a joke or snark. That is at least half of how I started it out. But I am talking myself into it.