Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Detroit News Endorses Libertarian Gary Johnson

The Detroit News is the primary conservative newspaper in the Southeast Michigan area. When The Detroit News endorses someone for President it endorses the Republican. This time it decided to endorse the Libertarian candidate for President, Gary Johnson. Now you can probably point out that most people don't decide whom to vote for based on recommendations by a newspaper's editorial board, particularly not a small regional paper such as The Detroit News. And you're probably right. Still the reason I thought this was worthy of note was that no matter who wins in November, the definition of conservative will be changing. The Detroit News editorial board members Nolan Finley and Ingrid Jacques list the first two (and presumably from their view the most important) reasons not to support Trump as immigration and trade. Johnson is in support of the TPP and is for virtual open borders to the US. Anyone who wants to come in to the US (and is not a criminal) should be able to come in as far as Finley and Jacques are concerned. These positions track well with the free-trade and big business types among conservatives but they are utterly unacceptable to many of the conservative voters who successfully made Trump the Republican nominee. There is a question as to whether the nation's definition is more important or earning money is more important. That is a deliberate reduction of some complex issues of course. And Trump, the consummate internationalist businessman, is hardly the paragon of America First which he portrays himself as before certain audiences. But nonetheless there is a divergence of interests between the nativist, nationalistic, and even racist types who do not privilege earning money over what they see as national or racial interest and those conservatives who are eager to expand trade, transfer capital and labor abroad and welcome different types of people into the US because they see money making opportunities. These differences can no longer be papered over. At this time, I still think Trump will lose the election but regardless of November's outcome the Republican party will not return to a point where the free-marketers get to run it without opposition. The blood-and-soil people are there. They're angry. They're not quiet about it. Going forward there is going to be more infighting about what it means to be a conservative in the US.

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