As I noted in the previous blog post, this past gubernatorial election was a victory for the establishment wings of the Democratic and Republican parties. Democrat nominee Ralph Northam and his GOP counterpart Ed Gillespie are both closer to the ideological center than the more populist wings of their parties would like. However, there is a lot more to political ideologies than just being a Republican or a Democrat. With the primaries behind us, it is worth looking into where Northam and Gillespie stand on the political chart.
That’s right, the political chart. While many continue to use a horizontal, left-right spectrum to analyze political ideology, a vertical spectrum of authoritarianism versus libertarianism is also useful. For this post, I will be looking at a few of the positions that I think are relevant to this race and give some examples. While these are not the only types of politicians that fill these roles, here are some examples of who you would find in these quadrants.
Politicians that would go in the left-libertarian quadrant would be former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and self-described “progressive libertarian” Ben Hixon, the Democratic candidate for delegate in Virginia’s 30th district. Fans of Sanders from his presidential campaign say that Democrats need to run candidates like Sanders or the British Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn if they want to stop losing elections.
The libertarian right is the stomping grounds of TEA Party favorites like Rand Paul and the Libertarian Party, as well as Ed Gillespie. Positions like supporting lower taxes, leaving same sex marriage as a state issue, and so on, put him firmly in this category.