Can the Libertarian Republican and the Non-Libertarian Republican Be Friends?

Identity is not destiny
Ross Tilchin at The
Brookings Institution has collated poll data about the leanings of
the various factions with the Republican Party. As libertarian
philosophy becomes a growing influence within the party, Tilchin
wonders how well libertarian Republicans might work with
conservative Christians and Tea Party Republicans. Tilchin thinks
libertarians may see limits to their influence
within the party
because religion tends to play much less of a role in their lives
than in the lives of the other two factions:

While these groups are similarly conservative on economic
matters (indeed, libertarians are further to the right than white
evangelicals or Tea Partiers on some economic issues, such as
raising the minimum wage), they are extremely divided by their
views on religion. Only 53% of libertarians describe religion as
the most important thing or one among many important things in
their lives. By comparison, 77% of Tea Party members say that
religion is either the most important thing or one among many
important things in their lives, and – not surprisingly – 94% of
white evangelicals say that religion is either the most important
thing or one among many important things in their lives. A full 44%
of libertarians say that religion is not important in their lives
or that religion is not as important as other things in their
lives. Only 11% of Tea Party members and 1% of white evangelicals
say that religion is not important in their lives.

Additionally, libertarians are among the most likely to agree
that religion causes more problems in society than it solves (37%
total: 17% completely agreeing, 20% mostly agreeing); the least
likely to agree that it is important for children to be brought up
in a religion so they can learn good values (35% total: 13%
completely disagree, 22% disagree); and the least likely to think
it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have
good values (63% total: 30% completely disagree, 33% mostly

These stark differences in attitudes toward religion help
explain the large difference in view between libertarians and other
conservatives on social issues such as abortion, physician-assisted
suicide, and marijuana legalization. Given their positions on these
contentious social matters, it is very difficult to envision
Libertarians gaining the support of socially conservative voters in
the Republican Party.

Read the whole piece
. It also explores the simple mathematical problem of
libertarians being outnumbered by the other two factions of the
Republican Party in all regions of the country.

I take slight issue with the analysis, though perhaps not the
conclusion. What’s left out is the very libertarian idea that just
because libertarians don’t see religion as an important component
to their own lives, that doesn’t mean we would object to others who
decide otherwise. And believing that “religion causes more problems
in society than it solves” should not be taken to mean that a
libertarian believes the government should implement policies in a
pursuit to “fix” these problems.

Obviously there is disagreement, but it’s not actually,
literally about faith. The disagreement is about the extent of and
justifications for the use of government force. To say that
religious beliefs should not be used to determine whether it should
be legal to get an abortion or get married is not to say
that people shouldn’t use religion to make these decisions for
themselves in their own lives.

Given the libertarian rejection of government coercion, who else
is better suited to even approach these issues with social
conservatives? Who outside of libertarians is arguing in favor of
same-sex marriages getting the same legal recognition as
heterosexual marriages, while at the same time arguing that no
church should be obligated to recognize them, nor should any
business be
into providing goods and services for them?

Make room! Coming through!Rather than seeing libertarians in opposition to
social conservatives, it’s more helpful to see libertarians as
allies in protecting the civil liberties of the religious even as
they lose cultural influence. Libertarians may not be able to “take
over” the Republican Party (not that they should stop trying), but
the party itself may be in deep trouble if these factions cannot
find points of agreement.

Over at The American Conservative, W. James Antle III
today takes note
at how Sen. Rand Paul is attempting to promote
noninterventionist messages and drug policy reform ideas to
Christian conservatives.

Reason has frequently debated where libertarians fit in the
political world of the reds vs. the blues.
Here’s a discussion from 2010

from Hit & Run

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Public Domain

Here’s some
mostly good news
in the world of intellectual property law:

Sherlock Hound is still under copyright.A federal judge has issued a declarative
judgment stating that Holmes, Watson, 221B Baker Street, the
dastardly Professor Moriarty and other elements included in the 50
Holmes works that Arthur Conan Doyle published before Jan. 1, 1923,
are no longer covered by United States copyright law, and can
therefore be freely used by others without paying any licensing fee
to the writer’s estate.

What about John Cleese? Can we copyright John Cleese?The ruling came in response to a
civil complaint filed in February by Leslie S. Klinger, the editor
of the three-volume, nearly 3,000-page “New Annotated Sherlock
Holmes” and a number of other Holmes-related books. The complaint
stemmed from “In the Company of Sherlock Holmes,” a collection of
new Holmes stories written by different authors and edited by Mr.
Klinger and Laurie R. King, herself the author of a mystery series
featuring Mary Russell, Holmes’s wife.

Mr. Klinger and Ms. King had paid a $5,000 licensing fee for a
previous Holmes-inspired collection. But in the complaint, Mr.
Klinger said that the publisher of “In the Company of Sherlock
Holmes,” Pegasus Books, had declined to go forward after receiving
a letter from the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd., a business entity
organized in Britain, suggesting that the estate would prevent the
new book from being sold by Amazon, Barnes & Noble and “similar
retailers” unless it received another fee.

I call this mostly good news because the judge sided
with the Doyle estate when it came to elements of the Holmes mythos
introduced after 1923. Those are still under copyright protection
in the U.S., so if you want to publish a story that mentions, say,
Dr. Watson’s career as a rugby player, you still need to pay a fee
to Doyle’s heirs.

The court’s decision, which you can read
, discusses such topics as a precedent set by Amos ‘n’
and whether Watson’s second marriage is a copyrightable
“characteristic” or a non-copyrightable “event.” If you enjoy the
territory where legal and literary exegesis collide, you should
read it.

When I last wrote about
this case
, I posed some questions to Reason readers.
Now that the judge has released his ruling, I’ll offer them

And for his next trick, the world's greatest detective will play "Flight of the Bumblebee" while juggling firecrackers atop a flagpole.Posts like this tend to set off
debates in the comments about whether copyright laws should exist
at all, but let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that they
should. Can anyone give me a good reason for applying copyright to
a character, as opposed to a story about that character?
It shouldn’t be difficult for the fans of, say, Star Wars
to tell which stories about Han Solo have George Lucas’ input or
blessing and which ones do not. Why shouldn’t you have the legal
right to circulate your own Han Solo films or novels on more than a
amateur basis
without asking permission first, competing head
to head with Disney to see who can tell the better stories about
the characters and settings that Lucas invented? I can see why
Disney’s shareholders wouldn’t like that, but why should their
preferences be law?

And suppose we agree that characters should be copyrightable. Why
on Earth should intellectual property law protect particular
characteristics of a public-domain character? Does it really make
sense to have a legal regime in which anyone can write a story
about Sherlock Holmes but you need to pay tribute to Arthur Conan
Doyle’s heirs if you allude to the
wrong elements
of the canon?

Bonus link:Ripping,
Mixing, and Burning Arthur Conan Doyle

from Hit & Run

Ronald Bailey Introduces Your New Robot Overlords

Ronald Bailey reviews
Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great
by George Mason University economist Tyler
Cowen. The book explains that the rise and spread of intelligent
machines has led to increasing income inequality and anemic job
growth. And this dynamic is likely to be permanent. Such is the
arresting and depressing thesis of the book, writes Bailey.

View this article.

from Hit & Run

A.M. Links: Both Parties To Strategize Around Obamacare in 2014, House Debates New Benghazi Report, Ted Cruz Working on Renouncing Canadian Citizenship

  • Both parties intend to focus on Obamacare in 2014. Republicans
    want to keep the spotlight on its
    . The White House, Democratic lawmakers and
    advocacy organizations, on the other hand, are
    launching a campaign
    this week to highlight real-life success
    stories under the law.
  • The Obama administration says December Obamacare customer

    sign-ups surged
    , pushing enrollment past the 1 million
  • The House Intelligence Committee on Sunday debated a new report
    that concludes Al Qaeda
    played no role
    in the Benghazi terror attack.
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has hired lawyers to help him get rid of
    Canadian citizenship
  • Syria will likely miss its agreed-upon year-end deadline for
    moving its most
    deadly chemical weapons
    from the country.
  • Michael Hayden, the former head of the NSA and the CIA, said in
    an interview that Edward Snowden is a pretty swell guy. Just
    kidding, he called him a

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and don’t forget to
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from Hit & Run

Jacob Sullum on What to Expect When Colorado’s Pot Shops Open on Wednesday

The world’s
first government-licensed recreational marijuana stores will
open in Colorado on Wednesday. “People who come here
on January 1 are going to be sorely disappointed by the
lack of marijuana,” says a leading Denver cannabis merchant.
“There’s going to be a huge drought.” Senior Editor Jacob Sullum
explains why.

View this article.

from Hit & Run

Jacob Sullum on What to Expect When Colorado's Pot Shops Open on Wednesday

The world’s
first government-licensed recreational marijuana stores will
open in Colorado on Wednesday. “People who come here
on January 1 are going to be sorely disappointed by the
lack of marijuana,” says a leading Denver cannabis merchant.
“There’s going to be a huge drought.” Senior Editor Jacob Sullum
explains why.

View this article.

from Hit & Run

Brickbat: Open Wide

In Reading,
Pennsylvania, a private company with the help of local police
pulled over motorists to ask questions about their driving habits
and request they allow them to swab
the inside of their mouths
. Officials say the company was hired
by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the White
House Office of National Drug Control Policy. They also claim the
checkpoints were voluntary. But one motorist says he was detained
five minutes and had to repeatedly refuse to answer questions
before he was allowed to leave.

from Hit & Run

New York Times Takes a Stab at Benghazi, Finds No Link to Al Qaeda, Renews Link to YouTube Video

ben who?The New
York Times
has looked into it and decided it
couldn’t find any evidence
Al Qaeda was involved in the 2012
attack on the US mission in Benghazi in which the US ambassador to
Libya and three others were killed.

From Voice of America:

A leading U.S. newspaper says American intelligence
efforts in Libya that fixated on al-Qaida likely contributed to the
killing of the American ambassador to Libya in 2012. 

The New York Times reported Saturday it could not
find any evidence, after months of investigation, that al-Qaida or
any other international terrorist groups had any role in the attack
on the American consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador
Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. 

The newspaper said the “fixation” on al-Qaida possibly distracted
intelligence experts from “more imminent threats,” including local
anti-Western militia leaders such as Ahmed Abu Khattala, and the
angry reaction to an American-made video denigrating

Some Republican and Democrat lawmakers in the House
dispute the conclusion
, and suggest US intelligence has
concluded otherwise. The renewed assertions about a low budget
YouTube video have also been
by top US officials on the ground in Libya, and
remain a distraction
to what happened.

Watch Reason TV’s Three Reasons Benghazi Still Matters

Follow these stories and more at Reason 24/7 and don’t forget you
can e-mail stories to us at and tweet us
at @reason247.

from Hit & Run

Amie Stepanovich on the Eroded Fourth Amendment

Fourth AmendmentThe Fourth Amendment protects Americans’ right to
be secure against unreasonable search and seizure. But government
lawyers have argued repeatedly that this right should be limited,
and the Supreme Court has often agreed. Amie Stepanovich, director
of the domestic surveillance project at the Electronic Privacy
Information Center, offers three ways the government has attempted
to erode Fourth Amendment protections.

View this article.

from Hit & Run

Katherine Mangu-Ward on Swiss Sex Boxes

Swiss sex boxIn August, Switzerland debuted a new concept:
drive-in sex boxes. The goal is to maximize the safety of sex
workers and their clients while minimizing the public nuisance
caused by the sex trade, which has been legal in the country since
1942. One thing that’s not for sale, writes Katherine Mangu-Ward,
is privacy. The boxes are a strictly al fresco experience.

View this article.

from Hit & Run