For the Weekend: Diana Rigg

What Has Gone More Wrong with the Republican Party?: Hoisted from the Archives

Hoisted from the Archives: What Has Gone More Wrong with the Republican Party? 'Dean Acheson said that the Progressive/New Deal Democratic Party was the party of everybody else--everybody for whom the American Horatio Alger story was not firing on all cylinders (which was how the Progressive/New Deal Democratic Party could contain both relatively-poor white racists and the African-Americans they oppressed). The Republican Party was, he said, by contrast the party of enterprise--the party of making the American system and the American Horatio Alger story work better for those for whom it worked. Noah Millman wonders what happend to that Republican Party. He has a bunch of answers. But I think he misses the big one: the Republican Party is no longer the party of enterprise; instead, it is the party of un-enterprising wealth--those who have and are scared that they might lose--and of those who are scared that somewhere, somehow some different-looking people are getting something. That is what unites Robert Samuelson and Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Larry Kudlow. And a party whose mainsprings are aristocratic privilege and populist ressentiment is not going to be an attractive place: Noah Millman: _Who Closed the Conservative Mind?... Sanchez’ main point is that a substantial contingent on the right is actively seeking epistemic closure as a response to the end of geographic isolation: relatively homogeneous communities that used to be able to keep the world at bay fairly naturally now have to fight to keep it out because of new communications technology that puts the world at their doorstep every day. I find this answer partly persuasive... but inadequate.... First, the politics of resentment are nothing new.... It doesn’t really explain anything about the state of conservative leadership. Here are some possible additional explanations.... Blame the South.... a distinct region in America, significantly different in history and political culture.... Blame the money. Is there a major patron of conservative intellectuals who is a patron primarily because he or she wants to generate new ideas, insights, works of the spirit.... Blame David Frum. Just prior to the Iraq War, David Frum published a now-infamous essay expelling “unpatriotic conservatives”.... Frum was not expelling extremists, however; he was expelling dissenters.... While I don’t think it’s fair to blame David Frum as an individual for very much (and poetic justice has already been served on him specifically anyhow), I do think it’s important for those who are concerned with the openness or closedness of the conservative mind to grapple with this particular event.... Blame Iraq. The Iraq War was the cause for which Frum expelled the so-called “unpatriotic conservatives” and the Iraq War is the cause for which the conservative mind closed. It won’t open again until this fact is faced.... Blame the times. No analysis of where conservatism has gone wrong would be complete without an utterly fatalistic analysis.... Political movements have their life cycles...

#hoistedfromthearchives #2020-03-03