Two Essays: Save the GOP? Or Defeat The Ruling Class?
Fri, 02/22/2013 - 7:07am
Posted by mainemom
For your consideration, two essays.
First, we have a piece at Commentary by Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner called, How to Save the Republican Party.
Next, we have a Forbes piece by Angelo Codevilla called, As Country Club Republicans Link Up With The Democratic Ruling Class, Millions Of Voters Are Orphaned.
Both address the internal debate going on among conservatives, but one supposes the GOP can represent the people, while the other does not.
At Commentary, Gerson and Wehner observe "the GOP in a demoralized state, convinced that the challenges confronting them are not superficial, cyclical, or personality-oriented but that prevailing political forces, as well as prevailing public attitudes, present enormous obstacles to the national success of their party."
They recommend that conservative thought leaders team up a la the pre-Clinton Democratic Leadership Council to push a conservative policy agenda that will actually help real people. First, focus on economic mobility issues affecting the lives of ordinary Americans; enhance our free market, cut-the-red-tape, low tax message with an agenda to end corporate welfare and crony capitalism; break up the biggest banks, establish choice in education, and other proven ways to facilitate upward mobility.
Second, welcome rising immigrant groups and trust that enough of them are seeking to be true Americans and persuadable to your ideas and policies.
Third, demonstrate that Republicans' elevation of the individual is compatible with pursuit of the common good, as we come together in civic and charitable associations to improve our communities and help the less fortunate.
Fourth, engage on the cultural importance of family life in a way that is "aspirational rather than alienating." Identify public policy barriers to family creation and reform them.
Fifth, align policy views with science. Climate change is an example. Get beyond arguing over the science. Point out that impoverishing ourselves and our country through a regime of carbon austerity will have a negligible effect on the climate while destroying the wealth that could be deployed to help people here and around the world adapt to any effects of climate change and/or mitigate those effects. Promote policy designed to actually help people.
Now go to the Forbes piece, where Codevilla despairs of the Republican leadership ever representing the "country class," by which he means, we the people, outside the governing elites.
...millions of Americans, (arguably a majority) cannot remain without representation. Increasingly the top people in government, corporations, and the media collude and demand submission as did the royal courts of old. This marks these political orphans as a “country class.” In 1776 America’s country class responded to lack of representation by uniting under the concept: “all men are created equal.” In our time, its disparate sectors’ common sentiment is more like: “who the hell do they think they are?”
I like this formulation because it aligns with my comparison of today's media and intellectuals with the courtiers from Europe's monarchical past.
Codevilla posits the need for a new political party through which the disparate, unrepresented interests among the country class can coalesce and take power from the ruling class (which includes today's Republican leadership).
Having first read the Gersen-Wehner piece, readers will ask themselves, what was I thinking? as they absorb the Codevilla piece.
At least I did.