A second warning

A prediction: within a few election cycles after the embarrassment of Trump’s candidacy, the ideology currently animating the right will drop racism, sexism, and xenophobia, because such base ploys for political power will prove less effective the more overt they become. But those seeking to maintain the status quo of power relations in America will find equally simple, effective ways of perpetuating the fear mindset with which to divide our country. We may see the ascent of libertarianism, which features the economics of conservatism without its social regressiveness. What tactics libertarians will employ is unclear, but the Bundy standoff may be a forerunner, using the rhetoric of local autonomy to undermine environmental protection, playing into the hands of business interests seeking to exploit natural resources and grow their profits and power at the expense of all. This, of course, will be a perversion of libertarianism, which should in theory be committed to internalizing externality costs to the point of disincentivizing environmental destruction — but the relative intellectual honesty currently making libertarianism half-appealing compared to the Republican platform will no doubt be the first casualty of its ascendency.


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