Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The state of the parties

William Galston considers how the Democratic Party of Kennedy and Johnson differs from today’s party. And James W. Ceaser and Daniel DiSalvol consider the GOP at "the high point of its political strength in the modern era."

"Will Republicans be able to maintain and consolidate their current position, or has the party now reached a peak from which its support will begin to ebb? Electoral analysts generally approach this question by studying voter groups and demographic trends. This method may be effective up to a point, but it ignores the impact of major events—those famous ’tides in the affairs of men’ — that can determine a party’s fortunes. A moment of this kind is now at hand. President Bush has identified the Republican party with a distinct foreign policy, which he has justified by recourse to certain fixed and universal principles — namely that, in his words, ’liberty is the design of nature’ and that ’freedom is the right and the capacity of all mankind.’ Not since Lincoln has the putative head of the Republican party so actively sought to ground the party in a politics of natural right. This has led his Democratic opponent, John Kerry, to brand the Bush administration the most ’ideological’ of recent times. Victory for President Bush in November will surely vindicate his policies and principles. Defeat will mean, at a minimum, a curtailment of the Bush foreign policy, and will also likely bring an end to his understanding of the Republican party." Both are in The Public Interest and are very much worth reading.   

Discussions - 2 Comments

"Not since Lincoln has the putative head of the Republican party so actively sought to ground the party in a politics of natural right"

I find this hard to believe.

With luck, the future choice will be between Libertarian Republicans and Rockerfeller Republicans.

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