Does the GOP need a new stool?
This is the question that upcoming TNG guest Tim Stanley’s been asking in a recent blogpost for the Daily Telegraph. To give a bit of context:
the Republican stool is at risk of losing its balance. As William F Buckley once argued, support for the GOP historically rests on three conservative legs: free market libertarians, social conservatives and foreign policy hawks.
However, in the absence of a strong anti-communist message American politics has drifted leftwards, whilst the GOP’s ‘Middle American’ unity has been replaced with a “discordant alliance between wealthy grey technocrats and populist crazies”. The legs of the Republican stool now look wobbly and unbalanced, leading to some uneasy and often contradictory politics. As a consequence, the Republicans fail to provide a convincing or consistent alternative to the liberals and Obamanomics.
So, what’s the solution? Tim suggests that it lies in a ‘rugged constitutionalism’, where politics is conducted at a state level, individual freedom carries real significance, and Republican governments promise to largely get out of the way. Certainly, this has real appeal to libertarian-leaning conservatives both in America & the UK, but what’s the likelihood of it actually becoming an election strategy?
Fortunately, under 30s are invited to ponder this question further at the TNG with Dr Stanley on this very subject tomorrow.