The oddest allies in the conservative movement have one thing in common
I've always found the alliance between libertarians and conservative Christians to be one of the strangest political bedfellows. One might expect that the people who seek to legalize drugs would have little in common with those who are dedicated to social control through Biblical principles. In fact, I've often made the point that libertarians have as much in common with Democrats as Republicans but, for some reason, always seem to vote with the GOP. Why would they align themselves with the party that worships militarism across the board, while at least the Democrats have a fairly significant anti-war faction. Anyway, I've always guessed it was because what they really care about is taxes and that the whole freedom and anti-war thing thing is of secondary concern.
But Ed Kilgore gives an answer I hadn't thought of before and I think it's right. He's discussing the latest buzz in conservative circles: how an alleged libertarian hostility against crony capitalism will bring the populists into the GOP fold. He writes:
While disclaiming support for corporate cronyism is a fine idea for either party, the odds that there will ever be a popular majority for any political gathering that is distinctly libertarian (other than in temporary positioning rhetoric) are very remote. Aside from the fact that such libertarian first principle as free trade and hard money are perpetually unpopular (at least when they have any real impact), while libertarian boogeymen like minimum wage laws and corporate taxation are perpetually popular, there’s the issue of libertarianism’s inherent hostility to democracy. Serious libertarians do not tend to consider their public policy beliefs as historically conditional or as requiring popular sanction for their validity; instead, they reflect eternal, natural laws, among which the most important is individual liberty.
This is the basis for the much-misunderstood but very real alliance of libertarians and Christian Right activists in the Tea Party movement: for very different reasons involving somewhat different issues, Randists and theocrats feel strongly about their policy prescriptions being permanently enshrined via constitutional measures, whether it’s an “originalist” interpretation of founding document or subsequently adopted supermajority requirements against public spending or taxation. Wherever their positions coincide (as with absolute property rights or the inalienable individual rights of the fetus), there you will find the “conservative movement” in full voice.
Yes. These are people who place their beliefs in their preferred sacred texts, whether it's the constitution, Atlas Shrugged or the Bible. And only they are the self-anointed priests allowed to interpret them. For different reasons, they just don't care for democracy and wish to permanently bind everyone else to their belief system.