Friday, February 3, 2017

Who is this Bannon of whom you speak?

This is an interesting point I keep trying to make to my California friends. Republicans are a big tent party and you have to know what kind of conservative a person is in order to forecast what their policy positions might be. The California bubble tends to see them all as much of a muchness. Their world tends to be much more binary.

To paint with a broad brush, Democrats come in three basic types - Establishment Democrats, Socialist Democrats (Sanders's crew) and Anarcho-marxist Democrats. For all three, it is sufficient that Bannon is associated with Trump in order to have a negative view of him.

Republicans have a huge tent - Social conservatives, Religious conservatives, Burkean conservatives, Heyakian conservatives, Tea Party conservatives, Establishment conservatives, Fiscal conservatives, Classical Liberal conservatives, Libertarians, etc. While there are some core principles that unite them all, there is a huge SD between any one of those groups and the "average" Republican. Just ask the Tea partiers and the Establishment conservatives how much they share in common.

Recognizing that, it makes their response to Bannon in this survey more understandable. I read the news reasonably closely and I would be hard-pressed to know where he falls under the big tent. I am guessing Libertarian/Classical Liberal but that is a guess. For an average Republican, in order to know to what degree his policy views might align with mine, I would need to know his stance on particular policies (e.g. national debt, religious freedom, etc.) in order to make a judgment.

Just because Person X, in this case Bannon, is a Republican, it tells you nothing about what his policy position might be on the balanced budget or immigration or public schools. You need to know which type of conservative he is first.

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