Sunday, April 2, 2017

New Dimensions

Writing in The Atlantic, self-described "moderate Republican" McKay Coppins complains that the old moderate to conservative spectrum no longer adequately describes where the party's voters are in relation to other Republicans. It's a fair cop.

Coppins suggests several other dimensions for our consideration, without identifying any as his absolute favorite.
Coppins pooh-poohs the globalist - nationalist dimension. He claims he ran across no Republicans who would admit to being globalist.

I guess I don't find his dimensions all that distinct from one another. For example, anti-establishment GOPers tend to be absolutist, while establishment Repubs tend to be dealmakers. And you can overlay globalist - nationalist over open/tolerant - nativist/racist as well as philosophically motivated - grievance-motivated.

Truly, it makes more sense to talk about how we got here. The classic three legs of the GOP stool were defense, social issues, and fiscal probity: people who wanted more military spending (hawks), people who wanted old-fashioned morality defended (Christian right), and those who wanted balanced budgets, smaller, less intrusive government, and free trade (the donor class).

For decades the GOP pandered to the socially conservative without delivering much substance. For decades it tolerated open borders because the donors liked them. Unclear is why the donor-class-enabled establishment GOP thought the voters would indefinitely tolerate mere lip service to their needs? The Trump revolution is all about people whose agendas have been acknowledged but not acted upon.

Nativist/racist is unfair, how about defenders of what for a century we celebrated as American values and culture? Anti-establishment? Definitely, the establishment has demonstrated conclusively it won't deliver on our demands.  Authoritarian? You bet, it's no more Mr. Nice Guy, we tried that and were taken for granted. And yes, we have grievances, our long-ignored-except-when-campaigning agenda.

Thanks for putting up with my rant.