Dog Whistles

Thoreau has an epiphany:

For a long time, I was kind of amazed by the libertarian rhetoric of the GOP, the way that somebody could argue for torture and corporate welfare and unchecked police powers and massive deficits and a global empire, and then follow it up with “Because I believe in limited government and the free market.” The cognitive dissonance wasn’t what bugged me (I’m cynical enough to take it as a given that politicians know how to lie) but rather that they would even bother appealing to the small government crowd that they feel free to screw over. I mean, aren’t we, like, a miniscule faction?

And then it hit me–it was never about us.

All those dog whistles that libertarians respond to whenever Republicans blow the whistle? Those were for other people. Second amendment? It’s a cultural thing, not principle. Free markets? Intellectual cover for corporate welfare. Limited government? This is their way of saying to the subsidized farmers of the Great Plains and the employees of the Military-Industrial Complex and all the other beneficiaries of GOP-style redistribution “Don’t worry, you aren’t a welfare recipient like all those city folks that I bash. You’re better than that. You’re a hearty, self-reliant person who supports limited government.”