Amity Shlaes and the Party of Growth

For those not familiar with Amity Shlaes, she is a political commentator for Bloomberg News, senior fellow in economic history at the Council on Foreign Relations, and author of The Forgotten Man. An extremely impressive historical account of the Great Depression.

In her most recent article Shlaes, an admitted classical liberal, brings up the supposition that the Republicans, "instead of blowing up their marriages, Republicans might try blowing up their party platform. Her chosen route is by "junking the social conservatism," and sticking to a more fiscal and economic platform.

While I am not in total disagreement, leaving behind the traditional moral aspects of conservatism leaves us with nothing more than the political jello that is Libertarianism. And, if I wanted to be a full-time Libertine than I would have an (L) on my voter registration card, not an (I) or (R).

However, from a strategically political point of view, Shlaes does have a point. Social cons have been one of the greatest assets as well as greatest scourges to the Republicans. From Nixon's Southern strategy to George Bush's back-to-back victories, the GOP reaped major spoils from the Religious Right's involvement, activism, and most of all, money. Now though, the moral edifying is catching up with the Grand Old Party and not just in ones or twos, but maybe threes.

This leaves conservatives and Republicans with one of two choices; take the more fiscal and Federalist road as Shales suggests or start producing a crop of candidates whom can talk the talk as well as walk the walk of social conservatism.

Hypocrisy can be one of the greatest undoings of a person or a movement, especially when the bar is set way too high for leaders to deliver on. Likewise, most liberals and progressives have already factored in the component of human hypocirsy and ineptitude into their political equation, as a matter of face they relish in it.

Now it is up to conservatives to decide if they have have the fortitude necessary to get off of the high road and back to the narrow or find some new message packaging that is more effective for obtaining votes.

(h/t to Little Miss Attila)


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