There are fault-lines within conservatism and between conservatives and liberals. Then there are priorities. Rod Dreher’s coinage of Crunchy Conservative revealed some of the the challenges to us. Home school? No thanks but we would not stop you. Second Amendment? We are supportive but it is not a priority. Organic food? Only if there are no other alternatives, e.g., if we need a kiwi and the only one in the store is organic then we would buy it there rather than go elsewhere.
We are, at least in part, Kudlow Conservatives:
But I say inequality is not the problem. The problem is a lack of growth. Middle-class people who haven’t seen a raise in all these years don’t want to punish success, and they’re not jealous of those who have done well. They just want their piece of the pie.
The fault-line is between inequality and growth. We not sure Larry is right on how the middle-class feels but we know how to encourage growth with a lighter regulatory touch and lighter taxes or even moving taxes to consumption from investment. Why would we want to reduce inequality and how would we do it? Isn’t it better to double everyone’s income rather than “improve” the Gini coefficient? If you decide to reduce inequality how do you do it? Do you reduce or increase taxes? Do you reduce or increase the minimum wage? If you think throwing poor people out of work will reduce inequality can you explain exactly how that will happen?
The second fault-line is climate change and reforming entitlements. There is no obvious reason why this is a fault-line between the left and right but it is a fault-line.
Sidebar: Well, of course there is a reason. It is the left’s thirst for power. Climate change gives them an opportunity to seize power. So will the bankruptcy of Social Security and Medicare. End sidebar.
Folks interested in “fighting” climate change are rarely interested in reforming entitlements. Entitlements have gotten so large that reforming them is the only way to attack the deficit. Ignoring climate change will help with growth and allow us to focus on the serious issue of reforming entitlements.
The third fault-line is immigration and free trade. Free trade tends to be a left-right fault line but the immigration fault-line runs through both camps. We are for unilateral free trade but it is not going to happen. Instead we are settling for enforcement of the immigration laws and perhaps some movement towards free trade. Sure we would like a review of the immigration laws but that can wait.
So our priorities are growth, reforming entitlements, and enforcing immigration laws. Yup, appointments, defense, and foreign policy are important too but first things first and appointments will be correlated with the first three. There is a large list of actions we would like to see but you gotta prioritize.