By Mike DeVine, Legal Editor for The Minority Report and The HinzSight Report
Originally published in Race42008.com
Gamecock sees no inherent contradiction between Rush/Reagan conservatism and most of the themes and policy proposals presented in David Frum’s Comeback nor Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam’s Grand New Party, despite the hype of some columnists and the author’s themselves.
Both books, but especially Frum’s, claim to be departures from Reaganism, which they see as fashioned solely for the problems of 1970’s and ‘80’s. I disagree, and think that their bold characterizations of their proposals are mostly self aggrandizing contrarianism.
That said, except for Frum’s internal contradictions within the book concerning President Bush and the above, I found most of their economic proposals to be welcome additions to the debate fiscal conservatives should have been having over the past decade.
The most important and pleasing discoveries in either book were that Douthat rejects the premise of the liberal gospel in Thomas Franks’ What’s the Matter with Kansas? and agrees with one of my long time arguments that the GOP must be the champion of middle and lower income families.
Douthat understands that it is not in America's interest, no matter their economic station in life, to vote for Democrats who advocate proven failed economic policies. Franks’ book operates from the liberal premise that, obviously, Democrats are for the poor and middle class but that these voters have been tricked into voting for Republicans over irrelevant social issues.
Douthat rejects the premise and also points out the economic effects of a failure to adhere to conservative values.
I reject Frum’s argument that the GOP needs to move to the left on abortion, fetal stem cell research and marriage. Rush babies, the Reagan generation and even the new globalist liberals are majority pro-life, recent polls show. Science is on the side of opposition to government funded ESCR, and 38 states have voted to outlaw same sex marriages.
Both books make some arguments that Reaganism is obsolete due to the death of the USSR and that tax rate cuts can only go so far. I could not disagree more.
Reaganism is about timeless principles of Liberty, limited government, and practical application of values to human nature that the Founders based our society upon.
Yes, the USSR is gone, but Russia isn’t. China is making a challenge and radical Islam seeks our destruction. Evil exists, always will and the USA will always be its target unless we are vanquished. Peace thru strength sound familiar?
The major issue of our day, energy, cries out for Reagan-like de-regulation.
With respect to health-care, McCain’s proposals are market based. I remember Reagan and Rush being for market based free enterprise.
Yes, we need to make a comeback, but we aren’t that far back compared to the 1980’s. We are a young movement compared to the Democrats. And, yes, we need some of the new in the Grand Old Party, but not too much. Conservatism is our game.
Taxes? The democrats want to raise taxes, so it’s not so much that we seek tax cuts as a panacea for all that ails America, but surely Reagan would oppose tax hikes, and so must we.
The GOP must try and educate the younger voters that don’t remember the disastrous liberal economic policies of the 1970’s and the Reagan supply-side policies that gave us 25 years of the greatest boom in history. We must use the energy issue to highlight our virtue.
I highly recommend both books to conservatives to aid in fashioning policies on health care, social security, regulation of industry and our lives (even up to banning Edison’s light bulb) and that as we fashion new policies we be guided by the principles of Reagan and Rush Limbaugh.
There are no contradictions.
Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columnsLegal Editor for The Minority and HinzSight Reports"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." - The Chief JusticeRace 4 2008"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson