Sunday, March 18, 2007

Secret Fear Theory of Politics

Andrew Sullivan points to the irony in the fact that the three leading Democratic candidates for President are all good, faithful exemplars of family values (even Hilary!, who stayed married to Bill despite his serial philandering), while the Republican field is dominated by candidates who have had sordid affairs, multiple marriages, and various other indiscretions.

It may well be ironic, but in fact it actually supports the "secret fear" theory of political ideology. To wit: people want the political system to deal with the ills that they secretly fear themselves. And so, for example, the moral majority types who rail against porn and sexual license are worried that they couldn't keep it zipped absent state intervention. The wealth-redistributionist liberals are worried they'd hoard it all given a chance. And given Edwards' ginormous mansion and Al Gore's profligate energy consumption and dirty zinc mine, is this so implausible? And don't forget our old buddy Ted Haggard -- railing against homosexuals while he himself is on the down-low.

What does that say about me? Well, I'm a libertarian, of sorts, so you'd better not elect me to anything. Or else it's "to the Gulag with you!"

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