Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Queston for Conservatives

There's going to be (and already is) a fair amount of attention payed to this critique by Freddie DeBoer of the liberal blogs as excluding the left from "serious" discussion. My sense is that whatever the truth of the complaint, it's less about blogs than it is about American politics in general. 

But at any rate, it gives rise to a good set of Sunday Questions.  Conservatives: are there any policy options, in any area, which are simply not discussed by mainstream politicians because they are perceived as out of the mainstream to the right?  What are they?


  1. Not a conservative, but monetary policy reform seems popular among certain rightwingers and rarely gets discussed publicly--ending the Fed, reinstating the gold standard, instituting free banking, and the like.

  2. Lots of conservatives still want to do away with the Department of Education, but that seems to be a continuous non-starter. Also, the Fair Tax -- or any variety of "abolish the IRS/replace the income tax."

  3. Things related to diversity and multiculturalism.

    When Larry Summers said men are the majority of science professors because women don't want to sacrifice their family life for the academy and because among people with very high science aptitude males are the majority he was fiercely attacked.

    The US military is currently killing Muslims in three different countries. I think it is unwise to encourage Muslims to come to the US while their co-religionists are being killed by the US but a halt in immigration by any group conflicts with diversity dogma.

    I think a good education policy would be to require people who receive federal student loans to pass an academic test. This will not happen because blacks and Latinos would probably score lower then whites and Asians.

    The article you refer to says that anyone who questions our trade policy is too left wing for the mainstream. There are many on the right who criticize our trade policy such as Buchanan and Lou Dobbs.

    I think many liberals, like Matt Yglesias, do not care if our trade policies are hurting American workers. He is happy with trade and immigration policies that benefit immigrants and foreigners at the expense of native born Americans.

  4. Restricting the vote based on civic informedness or having paid income taxes (or, as Ann Coulter and my dad have argued, gender).

    Changing welfare policy to have disincentives to having children.

    Vigilante-friendly gun laws.

    No public services for immigrants, including schools and ERs.

    I think these are popular conservative sentiments that only get support from niche politicians.

  5. Where I'd disagree with some of these:

    Abolishing DoEd: Republicans pushed for this through the 80s and 90s. It's dead now, but only 12 years ago, this got serious discussion.

    Public services for immigrants: Well, prop 187? Just 14 years ago, this was big enough to win a popular vote AND get endorsements from many major Repbulican figures, including Dole. Besides that, this argument seems to be a regular feature on O'Reilly, on Dobbs (when he had a show), etc.

    I'm not saying these things will become law; but those two seem perfectly acceptable in polite conservatve conversation.

    Most of the rest of these seem to fit, though: I can't say I've heard any kind of whisper about these. More so than the ideas on the liberal page, I think....but I wonder if I'm just more sensitive to these because they're such anathema to me, a liberal.

    Oh, and I'd quibble with Mercer on Dobbs on trade: I think Dobbs on trade seems to be coming from off the table to the left. I generally associate pure protectionism with the left in the US, and I seem to recall that being Dobbs' position

  6. " I think Dobbs on trade seems to be coming from off the table to the left. "

    Pat Buchanan and Phyllis Schlafly are both critical of our trade policies. Here is a review of two books from people who worked for Reagan who are also critical:

  7. Just casually reading these comments and not saying anything, because I'm a liberal the question wasn't posed to me. But I really have to clarify something someone else said.

    Restricting the vote based on gender is a popular conservative sentiment? Really? I know Ann Coulter has talked about it, but I honestly would never have conflated her with the mainstream of any ideology.

    Is this true? I will refrain from arguing about the merits of that position (other than to say that I... do not agree), but would honestly like to know if disenfranchising women enjoys popular conservative support.

  8. If disenfranchising women enjoyed lots of popular conservative support, it would be mainstream. I just think it meets the criterion of being "simply not discussed by mainstream politicians because they are perceived as out of the mainstream to the right." It's definitely conceivable that it could be mainstream, since it was in the past; I know several WELS Lutheran women who would support the policy as they do in their church voting.

    (btw, I just ran across a conservative commenting "I want most of the poor who get tax dollar assistance to be sterilized" today, so I get a point for that one.


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