I have recently started reading a blog called "GOPlifer". The writer is a sensible old-style republican, the sort that we used to have back in the day. While I am more leftist than he is, and not as enamored of markets, I have been enjoying his writing. A Republican party that came back to its rational roots (or should we say, sensible cloth coats) would be a welcome change and a force for good.
Indeed, I'm often not comfortable with the extreme left, particularly its political correctness and identity politics, and very much opposed to the current fashion of shutting down unpopular speech or speakers. There's a real streak of old-style Republican in me, though I still identify as more liberal than GOPlifer. And I bet a lot of people who are uncomfortable in the middle would vote for some of his policies.Which would not necessarily be bad ones.
On immigration, GOPlifer writes,
We will achieve real border security when we start making intelligent policy choices. Republicans should be well positioned to lead the way on border security since many of the best solutions are based on market mechanisms rather than big government. Unfortunately, the GOP is not only the party of markets and commerce; it has become the central political expression of aging whites terrified of losing their cultural dominance.He has an excellent diagnosis of what the GOP is, and what it could be, from the view of a market-oriented capitalist.
That’s where Republican border security rhetoric confronts border security politics. The policies that will make America more powerful, wealthier, and more secure will also make America increasingly more diverse. Too many core Republican voters are willing to live in a weaker, poorer country so long as people who speak English and look like me remain securely dominant. As long as Republicans are more interested in cultural security than border security, Republicans will not regain leadership on immigration reform.
Markets do not survive under weak or inept government. The Republican Party was originally organized to thwart powerful interests who, unhindered by a government too weak and ineffectual to provide justice, violently stole the labor and resources of an enslaved people. It took the force of a muscular, determined central government to end slavery. A century later it took a muscular, determined central government to enforce the rights of the formerly enslaved to participate freely in markets.The South? He recognizes the same neo-Confederate problem that we talked about earlier, but sees the potential:
That battle for justice has not ended and may never end. Republicans will not regain our balance until we recognize one essential reality – government is not our enemy and it not the enemy of markets.
Southern men in their fifties launched their lives in an atmosphere of near-total protection from competition. God had made them racially supreme, the benevolent protectors of the weaker sex and even weaker neighboring races. Law and culture made that supremacy feel like a reality until the Federal government and global economic competition began to strip it away.....But, he sees much promise:
For that formerly insulated generation, accelerating technological dynamism has undermined much of their economic value just at the moment when global capitalism has broadened the range of competition. They have lost privileges and protections they barely realized they had and the terror is palpable. Southern Republican politics in this moment is pure, distilled fear; rhetorical moonshine that rushes straight to the heart before dimming the eyes.
Reconstruction 2.0 is a relentless juggernaut bringing a brighter, freer, more prosperous future to the South. The aging Neo-Confederates that have seized control of the GOP are tilting at windmills. Cooler heads might regain political control before the party goes the way of the Whigs, but the country at large is already moving on. When the dust settles and the dead-enders have given up, the Southern states may be positioned to breathe vibrant new life into the American Dream.And, today, he diagnoses the Republican party:
The miserable state of the Republican Party can perhaps be understood through its response to four simple truths. Each item on this list is measurable, provable and broadly regarded as obvious. Failure to acknowledge these four truths means being as clearly, empirically wrong as it’s possible to be in the otherwise mushy, gray realm of politics:
1) Climate change is real and it is caused primarily by human activity.
2) Human beings evolved from simpler life forms, and the same evolutionary process shapes all living systems.
3) Abortion is a complex issue because it involves two legitimate liberty interests in conflict with one another.
4) Race still skews economic outcomes in the United States.
Unfortunately, there is almost no corner of America in which a Republican can survive a primary election while openly acknowledging all four of these truths....
Mediation begins by reaching some agreement on a defined, provable set of facts. The truth is slow, but relentless. Over time it becomes irresistible. Anyone who is looking for a first step, a template for building a newly relevant Republican establishment should look first to those four truths. If we can ever generate a core of Republican strategists, activists and officeholders willing to acknowledge these simple, demonstrable truths without evasion or flinching, we’ll be on our way to a far brighter future for the party, the country, and our world.
So, Republicans, how do you take your party back?