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After 12 years of public school brainwashing, I suppose I cannot hold it against students for thinking that our political system is oh so special. Arnold Kling sheds some light on how our Corporatist System currently works:

What he seems to want is a successful political party that is true to an ideology that opposes crony capitalism. It is not going to happen.

Crony capitalism comes to us in the form of bootleggers and baptists.

Anyone who claims to oppose crony capitalism is a baptist. A crony capitalist is a bootlegger. The problem for Republicans is that if they make friends with bootleggers, then they get accused by Democrats of being crony capitalists. On the other hand, when Democrats make friends with bootleggers, including Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Goldman Sachs, George Soros, and Warren Buffett, they are immune from charges of crony capitalism.

So, the Democrats get most of the baptists–the people who say they want to rein in corporate power–as well as plenty of bootleggers. On top of that, they have the minorities.

On the Republican side, the baptists are the libertarians, who are sympathetic with Long. The problem is that the baptists want to drive the bootleggers out of the Republican Party, which would leave the Democrats as the only party that can collect campaign contributions from the bootleggers. Moreover, the libertarian baptists are culturally misaligned with actual Baptists.

Montgomery County, Maryland, where I live, shows how the Democratic coalition works. All of the major bootleggers that provide funding that is critical for achieving elected office–real estate developers, teachers’ unions, and so on–contribute to the Democratic Party. The baptists on the left are reliably Democratic. Minorities are reliably Democratic. The result is a one-party system that puts the former Eastern Europe to shame.

I could see the same phenomenon taking shape at the national level. The Republican base is shrinking demographically. The incompatibility between libertarians and religious conservatives is harder to reconcile than the divergence among interest groups that make up the Democratic Party. And developments in recent months have weakened the private sector, with American business executives standing outside the Capitol like a bunch of homeless people wearing signs begging for handouts.

I can envision a scenario in which the Democratic coalition is never defeated in an election. The government may collapse financially. Or libertarians may find a way out–secession, emigration, or what have you. But the Republicans Party might not rise again.

One Response to “The Joke that is American Democracy”

  1. Al Bino says:

    A Libertarian government is the solution to crony capitalism. Less government is better government.

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