What's the matter with conservatism? Its problems start with the failure of George W. Bush's presidency but they don't end there....
So begins a truthdig article discussing two books by con writers that explore the future of the Republican party and the conservative movement.
The authors are worried about their movement’s future, and accept—to use the language directed once upon a time against liberals—that the right is tired, short of ideas and mired in the past.
I think they may be right.
Some more quotes:
Many on the right think there is no problem with conservatism today that doing a better job of imitating Ronald Reagan wouldn’t solve. But the 1980s were a long time ago. What made Reagan great, Frum argues, “was his ability to respond to the demands of his times. We must respond to the demands of ours.”
Frum acknowledges that the problem of economic inequality is real. “The American economy grew handsomely between 2001 and 2006,” he writes. “But over those five years, the income of the median American ... did not rise at all. The number of people in poverty rose by 5.4 million between 2000 and 2004.”
“There is emerging within the Republican Party a very interesting debate about whether we need to change our approach, or just reassert the policies we already have,” Frum said in an interview.
Frum would like the heretical Republicans to come together to create their own version of the Democratic Leadership Council. The GOP sure could use something. A Pew Research Center survey released last week found that only 27 percent of Americans now identify themselves as Republicans, the lowest percentage in Pew’s 16 years of polling. If ever there was a moment for change agents within the nation’s conservative party, this is it.
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