SayUncle posts about the NRA being powerful in the Republican coalition, and we are. But he seems surprised Bush scored so highly, along with James Dobson and Pat Robertson.
Libertarians are political exiles. We are not a small group of people, if you believe polling data, but politically we have very little power. Want to understand why I focus on the gun issue? It’s a libertarian issue where I can win. I can’t win on anything else, because no one listens to libertarians. Why? Quite simple. Libertarians don’t vote in sigificant enough numbers to make anyone care about them. The Libertarian Party is a joke, and in the Republican coalition, we don’t turn out voters.
Gun owners turn out voters because people are passionate about the issue, and because it’s a good unifying philosophy that can get a lot of different types of people to vote together on an issue. In other words, it helps keep the Republican coalition together.
But being on a mission to save the second amendment doesn’t get people fired up nearly as much as being on a mission from God, and that’s why religious people turn out in large numbers to vote Republican. God might not have told them to do it himself, but they will use their churches, civic organizations, and social networks to get people out to the polls on election day, and get them to vote their values.
It sucks being out in the political wilderness, where I wish that I could focus on other libertarian issues I care about, if anyone in power would just care about them, but they don’t.