A Republican intellectual explains why the Republican Party is going to die (1 Viewer)

Saint_Ward

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A friend of mine sent this, it's a couple months old though. It goes with stuff I know I've said over the last year about the eventual fracturing of the GOP. Because right now you have non-conservatives taking the reins and conservatives feeling helpless or abandoning ship.

This article gets into some interesting points about Conservative vs Republican (or New Republican). Basically Conservatives are the old guard, and Republicans are mostly the old Dixiecrats.

A Republican intellectual explains why the Republican Party is going to die - Vox

CLEVELAND — Avik Roy is a Republican’s Republican. A health care wonk and editor at Forbes, he has worked for three Republican presidential hopefuls — Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Marco Rubio. Much of his adult life has been dedicated to advancing the Republican Party and conservative ideals.

But when I caught up with Roy at a bar just outside the Republican convention, he said something I’ve never heard from an establishment conservative before: The Grand Old Party is going to die.

“I don’t think the Republican Party and the conservative movement are capable of reforming themselves in an incremental and gradual way,” he said. “There’s going to be a disruption.”

Roy isn’t happy about this: He believes it means the Democrats will dominate national American politics for some time. But he also believes the Republican Party has lost its right to govern, because it is driven by white nationalism rather than a true commitment to equality for all Americans.


“Until the conservative movement can stand up and live by that principle, it will not have the moral authority to lead the country,” he told me.
Then, later this it he crux of his argument.

In 1955, William F. Buckley created the intellectual architecture of modern conservatism by founding National Review, focusing on a free market, social conservatism, and a muscular foreign policy. Buckley’s ideals found purchase in the Republican Party in 1964, with the nomination of Barry Goldwater. While Goldwater lost the 1964 general election, his ideas eventually won out in the GOP, culminating in the Reagan Revolution of 1980.

Normally, Goldwater’s defeat is spun as a story of triumph: how the conservative movement eventually righted the ship of an unprincipled GOP. But according to Roy, it’s the first act of a tragedy.

“Goldwater’s nomination in 1964 was a historical disaster for the conservative movement,” Roy tells me, “because for the ensuing decades, it identified Democrats as the party of civil rights and Republicans as the party opposed to civil rights.”

Goldwater opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He himself was not especially racist — he believed it was wrong, on free market grounds, for the federal government to force private businesses to desegregate. But this “principled” stance identified the GOP with the pro-segregation camp in everyone’s eyes, while the Democrats under Lyndon Johnson became the champions of anti-racism.

This had a double effect, Roy says. First, it forced black voters out of the GOP. Second, it invited in white racists who had previously been Democrats. Even though many Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act in Congress, the post-Goldwater party became the party of aggrieved whites.
Yet Republican intellectuals have long denied this, fabricating a revisionist history in which Republicans were and always have been the party of civil rights. In 2012, National Review ran a lengthy cover story arguing that the standard history recounted by Roy was “popular but indefensible.”

This revisionism, according to Roy, points to a much bigger conservative delusion: They cannot admit that their party’s voters are motivated far more by white identity politics than by conservative ideals.
And to be clear, that's not necessarily racism, as much as just identity politics. But obviously, both camp out in the same area.

To me, the hope for the Conservatives, is to align with the Libertarians and find a common platform and let the rest of the GOP sort themselves out and hope that the reasonable ones join this new group.
 
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Very interesting article. It makes sense that they are doomed. The vast majority of voters simply aren't stuck in the 60's and those who are, well they are not going to live for ever.
 

insidejob

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Roy isn’t happy about this: He believes it means the Democrats will dominate national American politics for some time. But he also believes the Republican Party has lost its right to govern, because it is driven by white nationalism rather than a true commitment to equality for all Americans.
Roy is right.
 

superchuck500

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This is likely going to go down in history as another example of where a group of people's refusal to moderate toward a more realistic and inclusive viewpoint has the ironic result of hastening the advance of the very thing they're fighting against.

Republicans knew how important this election was for purposes of setting the tone of the Judiciary system for the next 10 to 20 years. But instead of being smart about it and choosing a candidate with centrist appeal and putting winning above the policy demands of the base, they nominated an unelectable, unqualified firebrand that not only makes the White House unattainable but has threatened their position in Congress.

If the Democrats win the Senate, Hillary will quickly fill the 87 judicial vacancies that have sat impasse during the last two years - including Scalia's seat. That's quite a number - and those judges aren't going to be holding the line of what has been a fairly conservative judiciary over the last generation (as the "liberal" wing of the Supreme Court hasn't had a majority in 40 years).

And under this very possible scenario with the Democrats getting the White House and Senate, Ginsburg and Breyer will almost certainly retire at some point before the midterms, and the whisper is that Clarence Thomas has had enough (though this political reality may force him to remain, taking one for the team). Kennedy, at 80, could easily retire and many speculate he will. It's possible he could try to stick it out through the mid-terms, but given his moderate, apolitical persuasions, I don't know if he's really that motivated by appointment politics.

Either way, after Obama and/or Clinton replace Scalia, there will be five justices appointed by either Bill Clinton or Obama/Hillary. Ginsburg and Breyer would likely retire to be replaced by Clinton, allowing that 5-justice majority to remain for quite some time. And if Thomas or/and Kennedy retire, that majority rises to 6 or even 7. Sure, they don't always rule strictly by political philosophy - and some even modulate their views (Kennedy is the best example). But you don't have to be a political or legal expert to understand what this really means - and in this context, it's remarkable stupidity that the GOP would choose a candidate like Trump for what is clearly the Super Bowl of elections in our lifetime.

Sure, some point to the cloture rule in the Senate for SCOTUS nominations and that it takes 60 to get a vote on justices - but it would be foolish for the GOP to rigidly filibuster these Court replacements because the Democrat majority would simply change the rule as they did with the 2013 nuclear option. It would be far smarter for the GOP minority to try to keep the cloture rule in place and trade the cloture vote for more moderate appointments . . . though that's only worth so much.

Of course, that's all off if the Senate and White House don't end up being held by the same party. The Senate race is hugely important this election.
 

JimEverett

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I had a lengthy response to this article and then my computer crashed and I lost it. So somewhat in summary I will say that I disagree with a lot of the gist of the point being made, and my agreement with the main point - that Republicans have to expand their coalition - is one of "of course, geeez."

First - I think out of brevity or something else - he fails to bring up the real reason conservatives view Goldwater's '64 run as a triumph, namely that it began the pull of the PArty away from Wall Street, the NY banks, and the whole "Eastern Establishment" towards a more grassroots party. Perhaps even more so, it pulled the geographic center of the Party to the west, where it remained till at least the Romney nomination 2012.

The fact that Goldwater started the trend of Republicans dominating southern politics no more reflects that the gravitational pull of the Party/movement is white nationalism then the fact that Democrats relied on a solid south through at least the 70s and the end of the New Deal Coalition somehow makes that era of the party a white nationalist party.

Which, I think, brings up the more important point. Just like the Democrats in the late 60s and into the 70s - the Republicans are facing the fact that their coalition just does not have the votes. Its an old coalition. In fact the Republican Party in post WW2 America is/was clearly the party of the baby boomers. They elected Nixon, and they elected Reagan, H.W., and W. And if it were not for Watergate and Ross Perot then Obama probably is the first Democrat in the White House since LBJ. That is how much baby boomers dominated American politics from the late 60s to almost today. But they are old and dying.
So just as has happened in the past, the PArty is going to need to develop a new coalition. And, of course, that coalition is going to have to go outside just certain segments of white voters.
And the potential coalition seems obvious to me - largely because of Trump and largely because of where the Democratic Party is today. The Democrats are once again the Establishment. They are the party of Wall Street, of the international business class, and even of the modern day gilded class (those tech giants who make millions and millions off of paper deals, etc.).
 

not2rich

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To me, the hope for the Conservatives, is to align with the Libertarians and find a common platform and let the rest of the GOP sort themselves out and hope that the reasonable ones join this new group.
I agree. A lot of my conservative Republican friends who can't stand Trump intend to vote for Gary Johnson.

There is crossover appeal between conservatives and libertarians, and if there was a party that was, for example, fiscally conservative, socially liberal, pro-free market yet not anti-government, that would be a party that would even appeal to a liberal like me.
 

SaintJ

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The fact that Goldwater started the trend of Republicans dominating southern politics no more reflects that the gravitational pull of the Party/movement is white nationalism then the fact that Democrats relied on a solid south through at least the 70s and the end of the New Deal Coalition somehow makes that era of the party a white nationalist party.
I love you JE but this is just completely wrong. Since 1968, with Nixon's Southern Strategy, they've been more than happy to demonize the African American community to attract white votes, usually through the use of fear, and almost as much with stereotypes involving undeserved entitlement. You have Reagan and his apocryphal "welfare queen in a Cadillac", Willie Horton, all the way up through "All Lives Matter" and our Muslim president problem. It's canned racism, plain and simple -- it's not the only food on the plate, but it's as much main course as side dish at this point.


And the potential coalition seems obvious to me - largely because of Trump and largely because of where the Democratic Party is today. The Democrats are once again the Establishment. They are the party of Wall Street, of the international business class, and even of the modern day gilded class (those tech giants who make millions and millions off of paper deals, etc.).
It's also possible that there are elements of the establishment that have always courted both parties, but it's not like the Democrats are the ones that have been fighting tooth-and-nail to almost completely deregulate our financial systems and securities markets -- it's been a largely GOP-held Congress since the mid-90s. Clinton played along with repealing Glass-Steagal (perhaps the biggest mistake we've made since I knew what a securities market was), and we've not sought to police banks with sufficient aggression, having learned nothing from either the S&L crisis or 2008.

There are elements of the D's, like Clinton, who are highly centrist and see this as a necessary path to achieving and maintaining some sort of power. But there are no Bernies, no Elizabeth Warrens, in the GOP. Nobody in the GOP wants to do anything like supporting Obamacare that would disrupt, in a good way, the anti-consumer control elements of our current employer-based healthcare system. The idea that suddenly the Democrats are the party of the "elites", whatever the hell that means, is pretty ridiculous, just because they are not advocating over throw of the government and guillotining the wealthy like it's France in 1789.
 

Galbreath34

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The fact that Goldwater started the trend of Republicans dominating southern politics no more reflects that the gravitational pull of the Party/movement is white nationalism then the fact that Democrats relied on a solid south through at least the 70s and the end of the New Deal Coalition somehow makes that era of the party a white nationalist party.
Dixiecrats were absolutely free to the Democratic party. There were no stump speeches, platform planks, backroom deals, policy decisions to win them over. The South simply refused to vote GOP no matter what. The GOP on the other hand has had to openly court them by opposing civil rights, by declaring war on drugs and gangs, by promising to protect white daughters from black rape. The entanglements of the modern GOP brought to the surface by Trump didn't exist for the Democrats when the South voted Democrat, because the question of "what's in it for us" never came up. The Democrats at the time were more tied up in pleasing unions in the rust belt and other core constituencies.

I think Jim is right about the break from WS being important to why Goldwater is cherished, but I think the article is right about it setting the stage for Nixon and the Southern Strategy.
 

JimEverett

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I love you JE but this is just completely wrong. Since 1968, with Nixon's Southern Strategy, they've been more than happy to demonize the African American community to attract white votes, usually through the use of fear, and almost as much with stereotypes involving undeserved entitlement. You have Reagan and his apocryphal "welfare queen in a Cadillac", Willie Horton, all the way up through "All Lives Matter" and our Muslim president problem. It's canned racism, plain and simple -- it's not the only food on the plate, but it's as much main course as side dish at this point.
Instead of comparing the two parties historically, I will just say that any argument that tries to claim that H.W. Bush, Bob dole, Jack Kemp, Dick Cheney, John McCain, and Mitt Romney (not to mention Ford and rockefeller) were national leaders as a product of a party whose gravitational pull is that of white nationalism is absurd.




It's also possible that there are elements of the establishment that have always courted both parties, but it's not like the Democrats are the ones that have been fighting tooth-and-nail to almost completely deregulate our financial systems and securities markets -- it's been a largely GOP-held Congress since the mid-90s. Clinton played along with repealing Glass-Steagal (perhaps the biggest mistake we've made since I knew what a securities market was), and we've not sought to police banks with sufficient aggression, having learned nothing from either the S&L crisis or 2008.

There are elements of the D's, like Clinton, who are highly centrist and see this as a necessary path to achieving and maintaining some sort of power. But there are no Bernies, no Elizabeth Warrens, in the GOP. Nobody in the GOP wants to do anything like supporting Obamacare that would disrupt, in a good way, the anti-consumer control elements of our current employer-based healthcare system. The idea that suddenly the Democrats are the party of the "elites", whatever the hell that means, is pretty ridiculous, just because they are not advocating over throw of the government and guillotining the wealthy like it's France in 1789.
I agree with this - its what I am pointing out about the future of the parties. the movement of the parties suggests what I am saying. And I have little doubt Clinton is going to be one of the most pro-Wall Street Presidents we have had. Coupled with the continuing rise of a segment of the tech industry and its marriage with the Democratic Party - an industry that produces relatively few jobs but a relatively lot of millionaires, and is relatively geographically isolated - and you can at least begin to see the direction the Republicans can move in order to build a winning coalition.
 

JimEverett

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Dixiecrats were absolutely free to the Democratic party. There were no stump speeches, platform planks, backroom deals, policy decisions to win them over. The South simply refused to vote GOP no matter what. The GOP on the other hand has had to openly court them by opposing civil rights, by declaring war on drugs and gangs, by promising to protect white daughters from black rape. The entanglements of the modern GOP brought to the surface by Trump didn't exist for the Democrats when the South voted Democrat, because the question of "what's in it for us" never came up. The Democrats at the time were more tied up in pleasing unions in the rust belt and other core constituencies.

I think Jim is right about the break from WS being important to why Goldwater is cherished, but I think the article is right about it setting the stage for Nixon and the Southern Strategy.
Obviously there is a difference in kind between the New Deal Coalition and the coalition built around the Southern Strategy - the former tried to keep blacks and whites together, politically, to some extent, while the latter sought to divide. But there was plenty of racism involved in keeping the New Deal Coalition together. One example that I remember was the anti-lynching law that FDR refused to support for fear of upsetting his coalition. And I know we can find other examples as well. And history ultimately proved that such a coalition could not survive with actual black equality. But that does not, imo, suggest that the gravitational pull was even close to being rooted in white nationalism because such a strategy was pursued. Similarly for the Southern Strategy.
 

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Instead of comparing the two parties historically, I will just say that any argument that tries to claim that H.W. Bush, Bob dole, Jack Kemp, Dick Cheney, John McCain, and Mitt Romney (not to mention Ford and rockefeller) were national leaders as a product of a party whose gravitational pull is that of white nationalism is absurd.


I agree with this - its what I am pointing out about the future of the parties. the movement of the parties suggests what I am saying. And I have little doubt Clinton is going to be one of the most pro-Wall Street Presidents we have had. Coupled with the continuing rise of a segment of the tech industry and its marriage with the Democratic Party - an industry that produces relatively few jobs but a relatively lot of millionaires, and is relatively geographically isolated - and you can at least begin to see the direction the Republicans can move in order to build a winning coalition.

I listen to CNBC for a couple of hours every day and I think the prevailing view on Wall Street is that Clinton would generally be status quo, which is a good thing in the eyes of Wall Street - disruption is a greater enemy than regulation. But it isn't all rosy, and several key sectors aren't all that excited about a Clinton White House.

It is generally accepted that a Clinton presidency is bad for big pharma and some of that tends to spill over into bio-tech due to business relationships and the growing medical device market (much of which follows the pharma pricing and payment model). It is also anticipated that Clinton would continue or enhance regulation in the financial sector - that will not be a net-positive for their bottom line. Similarly, it is expected that Clinton's climate policies will continue or enhance Obama-administration regulation on energy, and that will likewise drag on the energy sector.

I also think that tech is a product of research and innovation that is fairly detached from relationships with the White House. Yes, Clinton is the Silicon Valley favorite but tech is such a bright spot in the US economic landscape (despite its net effect on jobs), no right-minded president would want to change that. The relationship is likely as much of a product of reasonable prognostication as it is about any aspect of HRC's policies. I also think tech is seeing a significant blossoming in other regions, including Texas and the Southeast.
 

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It may not be rooted in white nationalism, but it's absolutely rooted in majority (white male heterosexual christian) resentment.
 

DaveXA

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I agree. A lot of my conservative Republican friends who can't stand Trump intend to vote for Gary Johnson.

There is crossover appeal between conservatives and libertarians, and if there was a party that was, for example, fiscally conservative, socially liberal, pro-free market yet not anti-government, that would be a party that would even appeal to a liberal like me.
This is a lot of where I am. The who anti-government angle is tired and mostly fear-mongering that doesn't inspire much confidence in the party. I also prefer more targeted, strategic use of our military and rely on coalition building to improve foreign policy. Sure we'll get stabbed in the back on occasion, but, we're a strong country that can deal with it as it comes. I'd rather try to make friends than enemies in the global arena. The whole "America first" mantra is short sighted and ultimately silly. It smacks of a "me first" mentality when it should be a "we first".

For me, by socially liberal, I speak in relative terms. Personally, I'm pretty much a social conservative, but practically speaking, from a government angle, I'm more liberal. The identity politics that have played out by the Republican party over the years sickens me. It appeals to the darker side of people's prejudices, and I want no part of that. The whole win votes at the expense of personal convictions needs to be done away with. I'd really like, for once, to vote for a semi-pro-government, pragmatic, moderate Republican, who cares more about every group of people in our country and wants to build alliances instead of alienating entire groups of people. I guess it's too much to ask of the Republican party, hence the need for it to go the way of the dodo and start over.
 

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It may not be rooted in white nationalism, but it's absolutely rooted in majority (white male heterosexual christian) resentment.
I tend to agree with that. It's not representative of all white conservatives, but indeed, there's a pretty significant swath that fit your description. I think part of the issue is that the identity politics have caused divisiveness and entrenchment in long held prejudices that stifle any sort of discussion aimed at building coalitions between groups that can't see eye to eye on political solutions to the country's biggest problems.
 

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Parties in general are to obfuscate and confuse people. What real use are they? The party elites in this country have gotten us where we are and are directly responsible for the mess we are in. The RNC elites are basically cloud people/corporatists who have lost the peripheral vision to see what the everyday American worries about. Who cares what happens to the lot of them?
 

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