Libertarians are smarter than liberals. Republicans are smarter than democrats. Libertarians the thought leadership of the conservative movement. Liberals and progressives have the space on the curve below libertarians and below conservatives. In other words, liberals are the thought leadership for the proles and the working class, and libertarians and classical liberal conservatives are the thought leadership for the middle classes.
Statistically, liberals are a minority (less than 18%), and libertarians are a minority (less than 10% but climbing). If conservatives and libertarians (the individual spectrum) are compared to progressives and liberals (the collective spectrum) the numbers are in the conservative favor. It’s the fact that libertarians do not self identify as conservatives, yet vote Republican that skew the numbers. This is one of the reasons why Republicans test smarter than Democrats – because libertarians vote republican not libertarian, just as liberals vote democrat not ‘socialist’ – because it’s not in their interest as a minority to waste their vote.
The republican economic program, which is a combination of conservative sentiments and libertarian economics and philosophy, simply appeals to more, smarter people.
Libertarians promote individual achievement. Liberals promote redistribution of other people’s production. Liberals tend to be verbal (and female) and conservatives tend to be spatial-temporal (and male). Liberals tend not to be historians, but exerperientialists, and conservatives tend to be historians. This reflects research into Time Preference, in which liberals have a shorter (higher) time horizon, and conservatives nave a longer (lower) time horizon, and these conflicts are immutable. In Jonathan Haidt’s work, which expands Machiavelli’s and Pareto’s works, liberals only consider two of the five social sentiments, while conservatives value all five equally. To some degree this is an expression of the ancient battle of the sexes.
The reason for the survey data’s (correct) conclusion that many very bright people develop redistributive and authoritarian philosophies was developed by Schumpeter, who said that these people PROFIT both materially and in social status by giving away that which they do not produce. They’re today’s church. Schumpeter said that Marx was wrong: that totalitarianism would not be brought about by the proletariat, but by ‘intellectuals’ who would use their privilege to undermine the system of capitalism that made their privilege possible, and that they would do it in exchange for social status.
The change in political tenor in the country is due to three factors: 1) immigration first of catholics, then of the third world. 2) the concentration of these people in urban areas where urbanites perceive a lower cost of production due to low opportunity costs. 3) the south’s abandonment of it’s civil war era bias against the republican party, changing conservative democrats into republicans. The parties had more philosophical breadth during the southern ‘rejection’ but now that the parties are roughly ideologically opposite, it is not possible to create a compromise position.
Now, this whole discussion tends to ignore the moderate but conservative-leaning majority who actually determine the outcome of elections.
And it should be noted that no civilization in history has survived urbanization and immigration. (The reason is too complicated for a blog posting.) A fact that is OK with liberals and horrid to conservatives.