The Conflicted Right

16 July 2004

Terry Gross of NPR's Fresh Air interviewed Stephen Moore of the Club for Growth and Cato Institute. He's the president of the Club for Growth which is a conservative Republican political group. The Cato Institute is a Libertarian organization spouting the reasonable mantra of "Keep the government out of our boardrooms and bedrooms."

Moore pretty much calls anyone left of center elitists who think they need to tell everyone what to do. He sort of tries again and again to redefine the word elite to be derogatory. He lumps into his elitist group: journalists, university professors, the Volvo-driving, NPR-listening, etc. He insulted his audience and host making it painfully obvious that he did not fit in this venue.

His Libertarian side says government should be smaller and stay out of private and corporate affairs, and his Club side says that Republicans lower taxes! The Club used to define Republicans by a second fundamental quality as well -- smaller government -- but he admits Bush doesn't get that, so they'll overlook that part and support him anyway.

His Club for Growth flat out refuses to talk about the social issues that the Republicans are getting wrong -- they just want to focus on the economics. They don't even focus on the full economic picture though. They just say lower taxes are good, but they ignore that it hasn't shrunken the government like they intended. Bush doesn't get that part -- he lowers taxes like a good Republican, but then he turns around and spends us into a record deficits growing government to erode our liberties and force our will on other nations. Bush is still their man somehow, so they just express some slight frustration with the President, but mostly look the other way.

He doesn't seem to understand that he has to take the whole agenda, not just the economics (which he doesn't agree with totally either). Reelecting Bush will allow him to continue his assault on his Libertarian values, and still just ignore half the Republican values as well. He's too blindly hopeful that his one tiny piece of the puzzle will solve the rest. He'll promote a mismatch Republican before a Democrat who may actually support more of his agenda. I guess it's a matter of priority and perception.

I don't really want my taxes lowered if the government can't keep up with funding for social programs like Section 8 housing or social security. Then again, I'd be perfectly happy taking a cut in taxes if it actually meant they'd have less to spend on war.


Filed Under: Politics