I had thought that if nothing came up I was going to comment on this article for my next installment.
When I saw this many of the thoughts coincided so I figured to write about both.
I believe the Republican party is an identity crisis. I believe it is a problem of message rather than principles but in a way it’s simply a lack of principles. First let me address Hillary and the 2016 election. I’ll probably sprinkle it with comments about the other article and come back to anything I missed at the end.
First what is the possibility that Hillary’s predominance at this point is a gigantic bait and switch effort by the Dems to get Jeb Bush to be the republican front runner? Don’t get me wrong I actually think I like a lot of what I see in Bush, I just don’t know that it would be best for our country to have three presidents in a row (of those of the same party) from the same family. The only way I see him as a viable candidate is if his opponent is Hillary, i.e. from another dynasty. Another Bush-Clinton matchup in this election would just highlight many of the issues I see in politics today.
Hilary is not Obama, she’s probably also not Bill. That’s good for her in a way as both have/will end their terms on less than great approval numbers. On the other hand both won two presidential races and anything that is similar to them that she can she will grab. That may be difficult as I see them as opposite sides of the bad in the schizophrenia of the Democratic party. Bill seemed lazy and effectively corrupt. Just there for the prestige not to actually do anything for the country. Obama just seems inept and, to me anyway, off the deep end with class warfare. I think he truly believes in what he’s doing I just don’t agree with most of it and he doesn’t seem to be able to do a lot of it, at least effectively.
The way for Republicans to fight this, and her if that is the case, is to solve it’s identity crisis.
The Republican party today, in it’s most beneficial light anyway, is supposed to stand for conservatism. What does this mean and how does/should it effect the different planks of the Republican ‘platform’.
First, conservative in what manner? Conservative as adverse to change or as adverse to excess? I would argue that change has happened whether we like it or not. Is ‘changing back’ conservative to change? Incidentally describing conservative to adverse to this and that should illustrate why we are seen as the party of ‘no’
Even within the adverse to excess are at least two camps. Excess in personal life? Excess in government? Perhaps even excess in business?
If the core message is in the adversity to excess in government, as I think it should be, then that means compromising or explaining other tendencies. Pushing for less and less government in terms of business regulation may end up contributing to the excesses of businesses. Articulating that this is acceptable if not desirable and why is critical. A ‘rising tide raises all boats’ argument will fall on deaf ears in a time of stagnating wages, underemployment, and CEO millions. However emphasizing that this spurs standard of living by the production of inexpensive items and the possibility individual achievement in this climate are more palatable and appropriate messages. The tendency toward legislating morality has to be tempered by a desire for smaller government. Couching those debates correctly is also key. Pointing out that certain issues make those fall together can also help. Birth control/abortion is a good example of this. The availability of both, regardless of your position, is established law at this point. Simply fighting them comes across as more government not less. On the other hand fighting government laws, regulation, and spending that promote birth control and abortion services can be termed smaller government.
Getting back to the salon article, I think the speaker is very astute in his assessments. If he didn’t come across as such an arrogant little %*$^& I might have a little more respect for him.
I think his most telling observation is this.
So if you’re a fork-lift operator or even a florist, you know your kid is unlikely to ever become a CEO, but you also know there’s no way in a million years they’ll ever become drama critic for the New Yorker or an international human rights lawyer.
This is the essence of Republican/conservative appeal to the working class. Through smaller government the ranks of the rich are accessible to all. Liberal/Democratic thought only leads to the pacification of the working class while maintaining the class distinctions.
His thoughts on leisure are interesting. I know that in my job, production increases have done little to limit the work I do, just increase the work I produce. That is good for my clients who get to pay less for product but not great for me. Actually to be honest I have been able to cut back but it is due to accepting tradeoffs. Many others in my industry work just as hard and long as ever while not making significantly more when equalized for inflation.
Specifically his comments on why this issue has not gained traction interest me. I have no doubt that much of our production increase has been offset by paper pushing. The question comes with if there is anything there that conservatives could grab onto as issues. Clearly increased regulations would be against our principles but perhaps massaging existing regulations could.