Tuesday, December 13, 2016

"The Dead-Serious Ideas Undergirding Their Behavior"

"To liberals, it may sound baffling and incomprehensible that ordinary political arguments about taxes and regulation could outweigh his authoritarianism. Liberals generally see economic policy as a normal disagreement, apart from and subordinate to larger questions about democracy and structure of government.
"Most conservatives, however, do not see these issues this way. The conservative movement treats small government as a first-order question of liberty, alongside or even above political liberty. Liberals treat economic policy on pragmatic grounds—the point of Medicaid is to help poor people get health care, and the point of the Clean Air Act is to create more breathable air. Expanding government is the means toward those discrete ends. Conservatives have discrete goals, like economic growth, but also larger ideological ones. As Milton Friedman once put it, '"freedom" in economic arrangements is itself a component of freedom broadly understood, so "economic freedom" is an end in itself to a believer in freedom.' While it may seem strange to liberals, for economic conservatives, the fight to slash down the size of government is itself tantamount to a fight against authoritarianism."
Jonathan Chait at New York explains why most conservatives have reconciled themselves to Donald Trump.

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