Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Minor Musing About Political Coalitions

In the Rod Dreher column that provided Tuesday's quotation of the day, Dreher opines, "the postwar Republican coalition of social conservatives, economic libertarians, and foreign-policy hawks....[is] dead, or at least dying."

For most of my voting life, those groups have been better known as the Reagan coalition. Since 1980, economic libertarians have fared well. Even after the worst economic downturn since the 1930s, the Dow is over 17, 000. It was at 950.68 on the day Reagan took office. None of those responsible for the recession have been punished. The country club Gekkoites who celebrate greed have little to complain about.

The foreign policy hawks have had plenty of sabers to rattle and bombings and invasions aplenty. One wonders what more Republicans can do for the hawks who represent the military industrial complex Eisenhower warned against.

For a quick summer quiz, other than rhetoric what have Republicans provided for social conservatives who arguably have done more to provide Republicans electoral successes than any other part of the Republican coalition? For an essay question, what good reason do social conservatives have to remain in the Republican coalition?

While Dreher may have been commenting about the national Republican party in general and United States Senate Republican leaders in specific, South Dakota has its own example of a fraying coalition. Steve Hickey, a social conservative of good standing, has forcefully challenged South Dakota's usurers. They have responded by disrupting Steve Hildebrand's business, Hildebrand is Hickey's ally in the effort to limit usury in South Dakota. Meanwhile, the mouthpiece of the South Dakota's country club Republicans chortles.

The Democrat's coalition is  also in flux. The Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren wing of the party are certainly not fond of Hillary Clinton's Wall Street supporters. Further, one can ask what Hispanics, African-Americans, and labor unions have gained from their unwavering support of Democrats.

Were I to bet, an activity that social conservatives assail, I would lay money that the 2016 cycle will be the last cycle in which the 20th Century coalitions hold. This is not to say that social conservatives will support Democrats, but they may stay home or in state and local elections support third-party or independent options.


Kurt Evans said...

Thanks for not wasting my time, Leo. The quality of the posts on this blog is much higher than the number of comments would seem to indicate.

Keep up the good work.

Kal Lis said...


Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the kind words.

I would certainly appreciate more comments, but the South Dakota blogosphere is a niche market at best. Further, I am a part time blogger, so it seems to make sense that most South Dakotans who engage in that niche have their discussions at Cory's or Pat's blogs.