Independents and The American Elections

There's a very interesting post over on Conservative Cabbie's Blog about independents in the US, and how by most measures they are becoming more conservative. I'd like to plug it, and not just because I like it over there.

Independents, of course, are the quiet people who decide most of the elections in the states, so long as voters turn out--as Newt Gingrich realises. Most of the political establishment, however, hold to Richard Nixon's old dictum that you have got to appeal to the loudest extremes of your own base in the primaries, and then either sell them out or depress the other side and the centre in the general election. That, especially now, is corrosive, I think.

I'm also conscious of how 'independent' in America is often a code for 'Catholic'. Generally, I'm not a believer in Catholic voting blocs per se; take away class or ethnicity and nothing connects Rick Santorum or Nancy Pelosi, for instance, both of whom go to mass. I do think, however, that the left, more by noisy atheism than by abortion and stem-cell hysteria, have alienated catholics in this country and in America very deeply. Alongside the disappointment when the depression really hits, that loss is really going to deal a hammer-blow to Labour, and some of the urban Democrat parties, I think, though I wonder who could pick up the votes.

Along with antisemitism on the left, anticatholicism is going to be just one more of those means by which post-1968 Liberals and former trots are exposed as having not much to do with working people or the interests of strong, family-driven communities and hard work and proper lives lived in places where people trust each other. That is going to explain some of the 'growing independent conservatism' in years to come, as will the intellectual and political collapse of the global warming cult, which is well underway.

Anyway, I'm off topic and it's too late to do a full post. Go and have a look at CC's blog, though. The readers generally welcome people of all persuasions if you make your case politely, which I like, rather than hating on you or playing the big white guy and trying to 'talk hard'. Bizarrely, the only place I've really encountered that sort of rubbish is on soi-disant left wing blogs.

Comments

Martin

The one thing that has surprised me re catholics in American politics is just how prevalent they are within the conservative intellectual movement. I think of grass root conservatives as being largely protestant in the baptist and evangelical tradition but that doesn't translate to the Buckley-ite catholicism of places like National Review and people like Russell Kirk.
Martin Meenagh said…
I think that you can broadly outline four or five strands of American conservatism, can't you?

One would be the sort of evangelical populism that used to be associated with Jacksonians and the white south; one is a sort of corporate socialist strand; one is college educated, and urban libertarian; and one is community, history and authority-minded and typically associated with the Buckley people.

Things get blurred when operators who have an interest in acquiring power or influence, through some iteration of neoconservatism or paleoconservatism, get involved.

The curious thing to me is how much the GOP is alienated from most people, but how unpopular many Democrats still are. The political-media class is in a bubble, on both sides of the Atlantic, sharing broadly the same views, and so are the wannabes.

I wonder if this isn't, as in economics, because of a globalised approach in university social science and law departments? They all generally read the same textbooks and watch the same shows, like The West Wing, and read the same biographies, just like economists doing the same maths everywhere. Heads would explode if anyone actually educated rather than indoctrinated themsleves. That's what I meant by matrices of conformity in another post, or at least, part of it.
DBC Reed said…
Don't buy this left alienates catholics number.It is surely the other way round.The left did its best to make common cause with the
catholics over Northern Ireland and ended up defending the indefensible.The left has got itself into the same fix with Muslim opinion.
Martin Meenagh said…
The modern left are a bunch of intolerant liberal bigots worshipping at cults of global warming, abortion, jew-tutting, and community-destroying libertarianism who don't have the respect, self-respect or discipline to think clearly or the balls to stand up on their own and work their way through a crisis. If they had any guts at all they'd point out the badness in many 'Islamic' cultures.

I have a copy of the Quran on my desk and have read it, and it requires the sophisticated, sensible muslim preachers whom I have encountered to handle it, not 'community spokesmen' interested in community hate. I've lost count of the number of easy pops people of bad faith with personal problems have had at the church.

Peadophile scandals? yep, they were awful. I think that we should take our richest order, break it up, and hand the fund to those who can prove that they were abused, and I've said that before. The UN and social workers need to look to their own rotten houses too.

Wealth? The art and so forth glorify God and the human spirit and are only an offence to philistines. A worked out--not rational, but logical--faith that won't tell people what they want to hear needs no defence from me.

Over five thousand hospitals in Africa, some in the zones where the glamourous war reporters won't go, are run by the church. Millions are fed. Terms like 'social justice' are catholic terms.

As for the North of Ireland, the Provisional IRA are not a catholic movement. The 'left' fell for anger, killing, and postcolonial stuff from them when it should have made common cause with those quiet people of peace who stood beside the Pope when he begged people on their knees to end violence, much of which started out as community defence anyway.

It's very clear to me that the Labour Party in Britain, when it was worthwhile, was in large but not whole part a collaboration of urban Irish catholics and municipal methodists. The 'left', characterised by zoologists on the run from North Oxford dinner parties, hates all that now and doesn't want catholics in their party. In America, the sight of Nancy Pelosi and her like justifying allowing live children to die or to be partially born before killing them so that women can go and be debt slaves is, frankly, disgusting, and I've been around the block a bit so don't pull that 'real world, real abortion issues' rubbish you throw at the chaste at me.

So, yes, those inhabiting the statist wreckage of the left, deluded and blind as they are in their libertarianism and deaf given the descent of society, which they and the liberal atomisation they facilitate have facilitated, have pretty much alienated catholics I should say--even if some still vote for them. That doesn't mean catholics will vote as a bloc, or just go off and worship money or some randroid cult either.

Avec mes sentiments distingues, etc etc

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