Friday, November 7, 2008

Which Way Will Conservatism Go?

From Goldwater's Ghost in the Friday Free For All:

"Following Tuesday's craptacular performance by the GOP, two factions within conservatism are poised to slug it out over the soul of the movement - on one side, moderates armed with polling data indicating an alarming shift in demographics toward the democrat party with potentially long-term and irrevocable results; who feel that the only way to survive is to adapt and modernize - and the other, the hardliners, who feel conservative principles have been diluted by eight years of executive mismanagement, and believe salvation will come through heel digging and adherence to core tenets.

Any thoughts as to the eventual outcome?"


Anonymous said...

See earlier CW post "The Decline of the Old Dominion" for the future of the GOP.

Republican candidates in state primaries fight over "who loves fetuses more" and the winner eventually loses in the general election to a Democrat.

Goldwater's Ghost said...


A fair point, and one that I think Republicans, and to larger extent conservatives, have lost sight of – that is, that ultimately the electorate defines what issues are important and votes for the candidate who best represents these interests. I think one of the reasons why Reagan was able to connect with a fairly sizable portion of Americans, republicans and democrats alike, was because he able to convince them that voting for him was in their best interest, whether or not they agreed with Reagan’s interests as he defined them to be.

While a man of strong conservative principles, Reagan was also smart enough to understand that he needed to appeal to a wide audience, even within his own party – wide audiences win elections – his selections of moderates like GHWB and James Baker underscore this.

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