One of the challenges facing modern democratic politics is the need for a crucial realignment in the traditional left/right divide. In the past, the right supported the free market, but because of their desire to protect the established order, including the division of wealth, they sided with the churches and their social conservatism as a means of presenting a coherent bloc against change. The left, which supported state control, broadened to side with other oppressed minorities and began to espouse a tolerant approach to different religious views and lifestyles.
The funny thing is, the whole scenario has now switched over. A substantial number of middle class free marketeers see social liberalism as a logical extension of their “Just leave me alone” beliefs, whilst substantial numbers of working class voters, who gravitate towards the economically left package of the left parties, are repelled by their social liberalism and tolerance of immigration.
In many western countries, Ireland and the US included, a gap in the political market is now opening up for parties of both those persuasions: A free market socially liberal party, and an economically left-wing socially conservative nationalist party. In short, there’s an itch just waiting to be scratched.