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  1. #431
    Sniffles
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    Let me comment on this:
    Indeed, the very term “American conservatism” is something of an oxymoron. For most Europeans who came to America, the whole purpose of their difficult and disruptive journey to the New World was not to conserve European institutions but to leave them behind and to create something new, often an entirely new life and even a new identity, for themselves.
    This is often referred to as the "Frontier thesis" of American history. While there are elements of truth to it, it's not the whole truth(which is too complex for me to elaborate on here). This view has been very powerful in liberal and progressive circles, and its influence is to be seen in that many conservatives even believe it today - which in itself points to a larger problem conservatives face.

  2. #432
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    This is often referred to as the "Frontier thesis" of American history. While there are elements of truth to it, it's not the whole truth(which is too complex for me to elaborate on here). This view has been very powerful in liberal and progressive circles, and its influence is to be seen in that many conservatives even believe it today - which in itself points to a larger problem conservatives face.
    I was getting that vibe as the piece went on (and on and on).

    It was almost like some one describing a horse that seen one in the zoo once.

    But, I was impressed with some of the details I hadn't encountered before.

  3. #433
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I was getting that vibe as the piece went on (and on and on).

    It was almost like some one describing a horse that seen one in the zoo once.

    But, I was impressed with some of the details I hadn't encountered before.
    Indeed plenty of details as far as I can tell as solid. However the holes I'm spotting have some very deep implications here for conservatives.

    Ok another little quibble I have:
    Traditional American conservatism and its political vehicle, the Republican Party, largely dominated American society and politics after the Civil War down through the 1920s. However, they were unable to provide satisfactory responses to the challenges posed by the Great Depression during the 1930s and the Second World War during the 1940s. The result was a great debacle for this kind of American conservatism in each of the three policy arenas, and this in turn resulted in a long period when American progressivism and its political vehicle, the Democratic Party, largely dominated American society and politics.
    Well I understand his point, but it should be kept in mind that "conservative" didn't really get much currency in American discourse until the 1950s with Goldwater. Before then, Republicans never really referred to themselves as "conservatives"(Eisenhower I know denied being one). Not only that, it also helps to keep in mind that up that the Democrats were the more social conservative party almost up until the 1960s.

  4. #434
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Indeed plenty of details as far as I can tell as solid. However the holes I'm spotting have some very deep implications here for conservatives.

    Ok another little quibble I have:

    Well I understand his point, but it should be kept in mind that "conservative" didn't really get much currency in American discourse until the 1950s with Goldwater. Before then, Republicans never really referred to themselves as "conservatives"(Eisenhower I know denied being one). Not only that, it also helps to keep in mind that up that the Democrats were the more social conservative party almost up until the 1960s.
    All good points.

    I'm assuming you had the time to finish reading that monster.

    What were your thoughts on the later bits of the article?

    The closer it got to the present, the more apparent the political opinions of the author became to me.

  5. #435
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    All good points.

    I'm assuming you had the time to finish reading that monster.

    What were your thoughts on the later bits of the article?

    The closer it got to the present, the more apparent the political opinions of the author became to me.
    I glanced through it, I haven't had time or energy to more fully read it. I do agree that there are different kinds of conservatives(just like there are different kinds of liberals), and these forge a coalition within a Republican party.

    What does this mean for future elections? Honestly I don't know.

  6. #436
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I glanced through it, I haven't had time or energy to more fully read it. I do agree that there are different kinds of conservatives(just like there are different kinds of liberals), and these forge a coalition within a Republican party.

    What does this mean for future elections? Honestly I don't know.
    Thanks for your candor. He comes to the conclusion that we wont be able to appeal to a more diverse electorate, and instead will try to become the party of white folks nationwide as opposed to just southern white folks.

    Honestly that sounded to me like his preference as opposed to something likely to happen. I would think he would know that much of the white electorate that doesn't vote for us now isn't really gettable, or at least not in the numbers that change the game for us electorally.

    He's sees us framing the national debate in populist terms meant to divide whites from other voting blocs, which, after how well that's worked us thus far and the continuing soul searching going on in the party, seems like a ridiculous thing to conclude.

  7. #437
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    As of late, the demographic problem has been a snare trap problem for Republicans. When they struggle against it they just seem to hurt themselves more. Once you've managed to put yourself in a position like this it is very hard to get out of. Obviously the Republicans can't just stay quiet while everyone assumes they have a racist, sexist party, but attempts to sound like they aren't can be so ignorant or superficial that it actually just makes them sound more racist and sexist again.

    Incidentally, it looks like South Carolina's senate seat will be filled by Tim Scott, currently the only black Republican waiting for the new congress. I don't actually think race has anything to do with it, because he's an ultra-conservative tea party guy personally asked for by Jim DeMint. But his race already has become a testy topic amongst those who discuss politics. I find a lot of Democrats are reacting by rolling their eyes and saying "Republicans are now scrambling for people that make them look diverse". That may not be true, but I can tell you that whenever a Republican has attempted to counter this criticism, they usually ended up sounding like an ignorant racist. No matter how true you think it is, if you're a Republican, do not respond by whining about an unfair, Democratic monopoly of black votes. There's pretty much no way you can tackle this that won't look bad.

    Odds, the only rhetorical path out of this image is one that all partisans hate, and the Republicans have been particularly bad at for 20 years, and that's a path of contrition. Rather than dancing around the problem or trying to blame everything on Democrats, for now they basically have to respond to the criticism by saying "yes, we did have a demographic problem, we do have a demographic problem, it has been a mistake of ours, but we can see it and we're ready to change it". There's no other way out of the snare trap.

    That's just the opening, however. The question is if the Republican party can adopt positions that actually are helpful to women and racial minorities.
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  8. #438
    respect the brick C.J.Woolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Odds, the only rhetorical path out of this image is one that all partisans hate, and the Republicans have been particularly bad at for 20 years, and that's a path of contrition. Rather than dancing around the problem or trying to blame everything on Democrats, for now they basically have to respond to the criticism by saying "yes, we did have a demographic problem, we do have a demographic problem, it has been a mistake of ours, but we can see it and we're ready to change it". There's no other way out of the snare trap.
    The GOP's demographic problem is a direct result of the Southern Strategy and the politics of division. It served them well for over 40 years and they have a lot invested in it, and I see no sign of them giving it up.

  9. #439
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C.J.Woolf View Post
    The GOP's demographic problem is a direct result of the Southern Strategy and the politics of division. It served them well for over 40 years and they have a lot invested in it, and I see no sign of them giving it up.
    I'm aware of this. I'm prescribing something rather than describing something. We'll see when they accept the prescription.

    They have invested a lot in the strategy but they had best not commit the investment fallacy. Once it has stopped working, it's time to move on to something else, no matter how much you invested in it in the first place. At the time of Nixon the southern Democrats combined with the other Republican interests made a coalition big enough to beat the Democratic party. In the times since then there has been a decline in the population of the north east, which would appear to give further hopes to the Republicans. But it turns out the growth has been going mostly to the southwest and west coast. The west coast has been solidly Democrat for a couple decades now and the south west is rapidly turning blue do to its demography. In fact, even the growth in the southern states has ironically been mostly from latinos and blacks.

    The strategy does not appear successful in the long-term, and it has perhaps ceased to be successful even in the near term.
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  10. #440
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I'm aware of this. I'm prescribing something rather than describing something. We'll see when they accept the prescription.

    They have invested a lot in the strategy but they had best not commit the investment fallacy. Once it has stopped working, it's time to move on to something else, no matter how much you invested in it in the first place.
    I think the party strategists realize this, but a critical mass of the Republican base, those who were attracted to the party by the Southern Strategy, have a huge emotional investment in it. They might take a dim view of party leaders telling them to dial it back.

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