We don't have enough clout within the GOP, so let's not invest any energy in the GOP. The problem, though, is that this logic is circular. The GOP ignores libertarians because they're unengaged in politics, and they're unengaged in politics because the GOP ignores them.I don't think that's what my argument was. What I said was that as long as roughly 60% of libertarianish voters support the GOP seemingly regardless of that party's numerous big government positions, the GOP can afford to mostly ignore the other 40%. As I wrote, it's a simple numbers game:
To do what it would have to do to get these Democratic libertarians to come its way, the GOP would more than likely lose much of its vaunted "base," a loss that would hurt it far more than losing those libertarians does.Nowhere do I say that libertarians being "unengaged in politics" has anything to do with anything.
That said, I agree with Sager's contentions that the Libertarian party is a waste, and that as tempting as it is, libertarians can't afford to stay above the political fray. I also agree that the GOP, though never a "libertarian paradise," should be the natural home for all but the most radical libertarians, but the simple fact is that it no longer is.
The bottom line is that the Republican party is, at its core, no longer the party of limited government. A party that runs massive budget deficits, pushes for a Constitutional amendment against gay marriage, believes wholeheartedly in the "war on drugs," rekindles a "war on pornography" and in general has a record on civil liberties that is, to put it kindly, spotty at best, is not a party I want to be on the guest list for. It's the kind of party I'll sometimes feel like crashing, mainly because it's the only fiesta in town that has shown me that it understands we're at war (open bar), but I always end up leaving early when I realize that there's some sorta prayer circle going on in one of the upstairs rooms (no drugs) and some of the guests seem a little too interested in what web sites I like (no hot chicks).
To recap: Republican party equals open bar, but no drugs and - more importantly - no hot chicks. Not great. Don't get me wrong: the Democratic party is even worse: sure, the drugs are pretty good, but the drinks are expensive and there're still no hot chicks. I know there are a bunch of other parties going on, but they're all really just little get togethers that sound pretty lame.
(Funeral services for the use of an actual party as a metaphor for a political party will be held Friday, as I have now officially beaten it to death.)
In the end, I think the only difference between Sager's position and mine is that he's optimistic that libertarians can reclaim their historic role in the GOP, and I'm not. Other than that, I think we actually agree.