Yeah, There Are Strains of The Pre-Modern In The GOP, But...
The Kid was having this discussion the other day with his friend, Professor Elitism, who believes that now that the knuckle dragging Bush is gone, America can get back on track to having the world love us, doing right by the working man, etc. And you know, because the GOP has been captured by its anti-Enlightenment wing, how can the Kid - a vigorous defender of the Enlightenment against all enemies - possibly defend the Republicans?
Instapundit (another professor at UT Knoxville) linked to a good post by Rand Simberg on this very topic:
But the most important reason is this--while I find the anti-freedom strains of both parties equally dismaying, the Democrats are a lot better at implementing their big-government intrusions, and there's good reason to think that this will be the case even if the Republicans get full control of the government.
This is because many of the Democratic Party positions are superficially appealing, if you're ignorant of economics and have never been taught critical thinking.
Who can be against a "living wage"? What's so bad about making sure that everyone, of every skin hue, gets a fair chance at a job? Why shouldn't rich people pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes?--they can afford it. Are you opposed to clean air and water? What's wrong with you? How can you be against social security--do you want old folks to live on Kibbles and Bits?
Amazing isn't it? After 8 years of Bush, somehow, abortion is still legal, homosexual sodomy is no longer illegal, artists are still free to smear religious symbols with feces (and get a grant!) and it is still perfectly legal to burn a flag.
All good things according to Kid Various.
Because despite all the wailing and dire prognostication about the imminent loss of freedom and the issuing of the Bush Fascist regime - none of that came to pass. Because although there are significant strains of traditionalism and anti-Enlightenment in the GOP - it does not yet there rule.
This is utterly unlike the modern Democratic party where Counter-Enlightenment thought not only rules - but a differing worldview is simply not possible. And as Simberg points out, the Counter-Enlightenment aspects of the Democratic world view will find richer ground to set down roots in the American electorate than the corresponding traditionalism on the GOP side.