Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Strategery for the Right

Pete Wehner and Yuval Levin offer an interesting assessment of conservative disaffection and offer an explanation along with a political prescription. In essence, they argue for a re-play of the strategy in the welfare-reform struggles of the late ’80s and early ’90s, where conservative co-opted the issue from the liberals by acknowledging the problem and re-articulating it on conservative ground. Eventually, the conservative understanding of the issue took root and even liberals had to adjust their rhetoric to fit the conservative narrative if they wanted to remain relevant. Wehner and Levin argue that conservatives need to duplicate this effort now with environmental, health care, and income inequality issues. I would add race relations and immigration issues to the mix. They argue that conservatives should embrace these fights and prepare to see a flood of support come their way. I think there is something to this . . . though even Wehner and Levin concede that the model of success that conservatives have to follow on this is not as comprehensive or complete as it should be. But that’s the perpetual problem of politics. People get old and die, others are born and grow up. Opposition imposes limitations and garners its own support. We always have to start over and explain everything again. We’ll never be (and shouldn’t be) satisfied with our success.

Discussions - 1 Comment

The problem is not one of message, or tactics. It's a problem of governance. Once the "conservatives" were elected, it turns out the GOP had other plans. The problem is that the GOP sold conservatives down the river...

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