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The Death of Conservatism (or "Bury Goldwater")
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Arc Tempest



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rise of Reagan was basically their death knell, but hey.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Death Ray wrote:
Dogen wrote:
Any collapse within the GOP is simply the collapse of the far right wing

I think this is the opposite of the case. ... It might be better to say that the Tea Party is collapsing and taking the remains of the moderates with them.

Come again?

I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to say here, unless we're talking about different timeframes. I simply mean the GOP isn't going anywhere in the long-term, largely because of our two-party system, and will simply adapt as it wins more or less elections. Again, this is likely why we're seeing movement on immigration reform from the old guard. It's not because their positions have changed. Their main goal is to get re-elected, not to be principled. But, in the short-term they may lose more elections as people become disenchanted with the Tea Party... but that's not a collapse.

Quote:
But don't get caught up in the language. "Collapse" obviously doesn't mean a collapse of the party itself. More like a an earthquake within its governing ideology.

Back to my original point, I am asserting that it is no longer possible for the Goldwater conservatives to pretend that that the ambition of "entrust(ing) the conduct of our affairs to men who understand that their first duty as public officials is to divest themselves of the power they have been given" is at all a goal embraced by a strong or sensible majority of their own movement.

Goldwater fought against conservatives like the Tea Party. While he was definitely a fiscal conservative and believed in states' rights (including voting against the Civil Rights Act as excessive infringement by the federal government), and once advocated cutting funding to the UN and kicking them out of the country, he was also deeply opposed to the religious right on Constitutional grounds. He was staunchly Christian, and concerned with American morals, but also opposed to intrusions on the rights of individuals to hold their own beliefs. He supported gay rights, women's rights, and was... kind of an environmentalist. Sure, he was belligerent and said that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. He wasn't a liberal. But it's difficult to square today's party with Goldwater.

Quote:
The moderates within the GOP that are trying to reassert themselves are not conservatives in that mold (movement conservatives) , while the ones who think they do belong to that tradition are cranks like Bachmann and Alan West... the talk radio wing.

So today's conservatives, if they can push back against the fringe of the GOP that seems to be burning the party out, are like the Democrats' liberals; pragmatists, the soft center of the two-party sclerosis.

This is essentially true, but it's not saying much.
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arc Tempest wrote:
The rise of Reagan was basically their death knell, but hey.


I would argue that this is very much so not the case. Reagan did fine and left a perfectly workable legacy.

Everything that could be called a present-day death knell was put into stone by the vein of thought most potently demonstrated by Irving Kristol mid-90's. The people who got Bush into power were bad enough as-was, but after 9/11, with Bush as a figurehead for a unified response to a thread on our country, there was really no going back for them.

The crudest way I could timeline it is Kristol 1979 to Cheney 1992 to GWB 2000 to the event of 9/11 to the emergence of the Tea Party. Remove any one of these specific points from existing, and the GOP would not be in its (presently documentable form of) death spiral.
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fritterdonut



Joined: 24 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barry Goldwater wrote:
"Do not associate my name with anything you do. You are extremists, and you've hurt the Republican party much more than the Democrats have."


I'd say that Goldwater himself knew that Goldwater conservatism was dead.

It's kind of funny really, a conservative from the civil rights era was more tolerant (as far as abortion and LGBT rights goes) than many are now days. And he was even viewed as being too far right wing. The GOP has managed to progress backwards.
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Death Ray



Joined: 31 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David Brooks echoes some of my thoughts in this editorial. As for Dogen's "that's nice but so what?", regarding the decline of both parties into ossification, I offer it as part of America's semi-centennial reexamination of the two-party system, a system which has practically written itself into the Constitution at this point.

And the system does not simply operate in a vacuum. Gerrymandering and the two-party control of televised debates is collusion that we are all in on.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You misquoted me. I said you weren't saying much. That's to say, you're not bringing anything new to the discussion in the single section to which that refers. Of course it's intellectually dishonest to imply it refers to everything, when several other parts got in-depth responses of their own. But hey, I'm a forgiving guy, right?

Now, I think your article is mostly just wrong. Not because he's wrong about how the GOP works, but because he's wrong about how quickly people on either side can pivot to a new direction. If the GOP needs to become more inclusive to win elections it will - and it is, with immigration reform. The "coastal and midwestern GOP" already exists, it's just been silenced. They're the moderate conservatives you called "pragmatists, the soft center of the two-party sclerosis." Snowe (Maine), Collins (Maine), Christie (NJ), Kirk (Illinois), Brown (Mass), Lugar (Indiana), Grassley (Iowa), Chafee (RI), Coleman (Minnesota)... I mean, these guys are still out there, and still Republicans. Many of them lost their seats in the Tea Party invasion, but that doesn't mean they don't exist and have no role in the party. The question is simply when they'll start running and winning - when people will start electing them over the Tea Partiers en masse. When that happens, people like McCain (who went from moderate to conservative, and could easily switch back) and other old dogs in the party will simply pivot to the new electoral reality.

The problem right now is that people keep electing crazy-ass Representatives, which makes the House a cluster fuck. The Senate, while not exactly a bastion of government efficiency by any means, is downright measured compared to the sanitarium of the House.
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ShadowCell



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it is worth pointing out that the parts of the party the GOP needs to jettison are only the parts that are already dying out of their own accord. being in favor of limited spending, laissez faire economic policy, and hawkish defense aren't exactly unsellable positions, but hellfire Christianity and distrust of minorities increasingly are. it's not like the GOP needs to anchor itself to some entirely new ideology. it's not exactly the Whigs.

with that said, fewer House seats these days are truly competitive; increasingly many of them have been gerrymandered into safety for their respective sides. so in order to force change in the House, the GOP is going to have to get so conservative that it's too crazy even for its own safe districts.
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
David Brooks echoes some of my thoughts in this editorial. As for Dogen's "that's nice but so what?", regarding the decline of both parties into ossification


"the decline of both parties into ossification"

I don't understand what this is supposed to mean. How do you decline into ossification. Does it mean deconstruction and rebirth?

Not to mention, the democratic party is not experiencing any sort of decline. They are actually principally poised for a decade or more of popular growth and a commanding lead promoted by the demographic decline of american conservatism.
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Death Ray



Joined: 31 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
Quote:
David Brooks echoes some of my thoughts in this editorial. As for Dogen's "that's nice but so what?", regarding the decline of both parties into ossification


"the decline of both parties into ossification"

I don't understand what this is supposed to mean. How do you decline into ossification. Does it mean deconstruction and rebirth?.


Hey! I mixed that metaphor according to the recipe! (Waitaminit... that ain't a mixed metaphor. What the hell is it?)

Quote:
Not to mention, the democratic party is not experiencing any sort of decline. They are actually principally poised for a decade or more of popular growth and a commanding lead promoted by the demographic decline of american conservatism.


The decline is one of the spirit. If the Republicans can no longer claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility, neither can the Democrats pretend to be the peace party, or even the anti-Bush party, insofar as Obama's policy on Gitmo, drones and imperial power is indistinguishable from Bush's. Obama's Nobel Peace Prize seems to apply only to the peace he made with the idea of SuperPACS. Add to this the Democrats happy-to-blow-ya attitude towards Wall Street, and what are the Democrats except the Republicans with a smidge of social conscience?
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Sam



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If the Republicans can no longer claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility, neither can the Democrats pretend to be the peace party, or even the anti-Bush party, insofar as Obama's policy on Gitmo, drones and imperial power is indistinguishable from Bush's.


There is nothing in terms of current polity polling which does not suggest that they can, and are, doing exactly that.

They could, in fact, be getting away with it quite handily even if Obama's policy on said subjects was base unalterable from Yoo/Delahunty policy memos (in effect, if his policy on those things actually was 'indistinguishable' from what it was during Bush's terms)

Quote:
Add to this the Democrats happy-to-blow-ya attitude towards Wall Street, and what are the Democrats except the Republicans with a smidge of social conscience?


The winners. Minus some expected (but likely to be anemic) midterm ratcheting effects, the Democratic party is not in "decline." It will effectively be guaranteed the position to determine what the next party balance is going to be, since right now it is tilling the center as american conservatism hits a demographic collapse that ó according to literally everything we know about how people vote across their lifetimes ó is assured. There's actually a fairly good chance that the next two party balance will be, effectively, comprised of two factions formerly both within the Democratic party.
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Kenshiro



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't matter what the labels are, as long as the ideas continue to be discussed, rather than discounted.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kenshiro wrote:
Doesn't matter what the labels are, as long as the ideas continue to be discussed, rather than discounted.


Well, I could discuss that video, I guess. It's basically "how the concept of ownership and property looks to people who do not factor in anything past the barest of axiomatic and idealistic interpretations"

for instance, at one point the video literally spells out: "Two people who exchange property voluntarily are better off, otherwise they wouldn't do it."

A statement soundly disproven by the extent of human socioeconomic interaction since the beginning of recorded time.

It is a classic example of how you sell a philosophy by starting with a framework, then throwing in equivocations and stuff that assumes initial points already in presentation. Exa: the video's definition of "virtuous," as well as the statement that the non-aggression principle espoused in the video is "the most practical and humanitarian" foundation.

Anyway, if one wants a philosophical primer on the issues of the state versus personal autonomy (in the contemporary discussion of liberal democracy vs libertarianism), you should completely ignore that video, forget you ever watched it, and watch this instead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mm8asJxdcds

Unless you are a complete and total hermit managing a completely autonomous life somewhere on our very crowded ball, you WILL have "force and fraud" in your life. It is inevitable. The question is which structures of "force and fraud" become considered legitimate, or why they are considered just as a foundation for the state, and in response to what pressures.
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Kenshiro



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only made it halfway through before I have to head off to work, but so far it's been intellectually stimulating, and thanks for that. Be careful, though:

What Sam Actually Said wrote:
Anyway, if one wants a philosophical primer on the issues of the state versus personal autonomy (in the contemporary discussion of liberal democracy vs libertarianism), you should completely ignore that video, forget you ever watched it, and watch this instead.


What I Think Sam Was Probably Trying To Convey wrote:
I consider your submission inferior to the following, and would suggest you watch this one, as I personally find it more informative.


What I First Heard When I Read Sam's Original Statement wrote:
I disagree with your ideas and therefore CENSORSHIP!


But then again:

Why I'm Happy Anyway wrote:
Kenshiro wrote:
... as long as the ideas continue to be discussed...

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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and mocked and rejected and refuted...
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right. Not all ideas are equal, even if you like them. If they are demonstrably wrong, you should discard them. If they're merely more likely than not to be wrong (inferentially), you should believe they are probably wrong. Then you should go find better ones.

Also, if someone can demonstrate for you why one source is better than another, or that one source lacks rigor, that's not censorship... it's the essence of informed discussion. Without discarding biased and inferior sources you never get anywhere. There are a million sources that claim Obama is a secret Muslim, but they can safely be discarded en masse without being labelled censorship. Because we're not burning them in a pile, or preventing anyone from seeing them.
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