Confessing the intolerance of progressives

Nicholas Kristof, himself a progressive, castigates the intolerance of his fellow progressives when it comes to conservatives and their ideas.

[Read more…]

Both sides are too nostalgic about the ’50s

Today’s political problems come from both liberals and conservatives being too nostalgic about the 1950’s.  Liberals miss the dominance of unions, job security, and good wages.  Conservatives miss the strong families, social stability, and conservative values.  None of that is possible anymore, and yet both sides are fixated on bringing part of that back, while still opposing the other part.   So argues a new book by Yuval Levin, reviewed by Michael Gerson after the jump.

I would just add that both sides are also nostalgic for the ’60s.  Now even conservatives are anti-establishment, and the left is nostalgic for the good feelings of the civil rights movement and is seeking to replicate that by championing other groups.

I would also propose developing policies that restore what was good about the 1950s from both sides:  economic security for ordinary workers plus conservative social values, two areas that might themselves be related to each other.  Being sure to include minority groups in both the prosperity and the values.  Do you think both sides could rally to that cause?

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On Trump, the Constitution, and how he’s like Obama

Rich Lowry has a great column on Donald Trump’s disregard for the Constitution.  Also how he is like Obama in being willing to use “executive” power in defiance of Constitutional limits.  There was a time, Lowry writes, when conservatives and tea party activists were all about upholding the Constitution.  Now, many of those folks are supporting Donald Trump and his “post-Constitutional” policies. [Read more…]

We all think we’re losing

Among the more interesting findings in the recent Pew study of attitudes towards government is this:  Most people think their side is losing.

This is true across demographic, racial, and ethnic lines.  Liberals think they are losing to the Conservatives, and Conservatives think they are losing to the Liberals.  (Democrats are more confident than Republicans, but still, a majority of both parties feel this way.)

I wonder if this applies to other factions, such as those in churches.  I also wonder what this means. [Read more…]

Democrats surging to the left–as is the country?

Democrats in Congress voted against the wishes of their own President in in opposing the free trade bill, which has advanced thanks only to Republicans.  Meanwhile, the socialist Bernie Sanders has all but caught up with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and Iowa, attracting some of the biggest crowds of any candidate so far.

Political columnist Dana Milbank says that President Obama and Hillary Clinton may be “on the wrong side of history” (an old Marxist line often used by the president, the assumption being that “history” is inexorably headed to the socialist utopia).

Mr. Milbank also says that the country itself is trending to the left, out of revulsion for conservatives.  Do you think that is true?  Or would a far-left Democratic platform–assuming Mrs. Clinton goes there to fend off her primary challengers–would be the best hope for a Republican victory? [Read more…]

Ideological sorting

In the course of a column on a recent Medicare bill, Michael Gerson observes that in the not-too-distant-past there were liberal Republicans (in the northeast) and conservative Democrats (in the past).  Back then, lawmakers could form coalitions with kindred spirits across the aisle to pass legislation.  But now both parties have undergone “ideological sorting,” so that Democrats are virtually all liberal and Republicans are virtually all conservative.  Thus, votes are along party lines, and the only hope of advancing an agenda is to win a big enough majority to steamroll the other party.  This is why, he says, our politics is so polarizing and it is so difficult to get legislation passed.

Read what Mr. Gerson says after the jump and consider the questions I raise. [Read more…]


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