January 1, 2016


In The New Year, Conservatives Should Modernize (Not Moderate) (Matt K. Lewis, 12/31/2015, Daily Caller)

The other way seeks to "modernize, but not moderate." Rather than abandoning first principles in favor of nationalist platitudes and rhetoric, this way seeks to apply conservative policy ideas to 21st century challenges, while simultaneously expanding the base of Americans who vote conservative. (This way actually might keep America great.)

This theory suggests that conservatism can become more attractive to modern Americans than liberalism, and can win in a free market of ideas.

One such evangelist of modernization is Alex Castellanos, the longtime Republican political consultant who heads a PAC called New Republican. Castellanos is passionate about fixing the Republican brand and is astounded that the GOP doesn't already own the twenty-­first century. He argues quite convincingly that big-­government liberalism is tantamount to a top-­down command-­and-­control assembly line system that worked in the Industrial Age, but is antiquated in the modern era.

While writing my book, I spent some time with Castellanos. In between puffs of smoke, he showed me a picture of classical liberal economist Adam Smith and harrumphed, "We were right too early."

A few seconds later, he continued. "This whole 'all men are created equal' thing"--he paused to hold up his iPhone--"it's never been more true."

This is a conflict of visions. People who agree with Trump doubt conservatism can win the hearts and minds of diverse Americans. People who agree with Castellanos think the only thing stopping conservatism from flourishing as a superior philosophy is the cultural baggage and identity politics perpetuated by men like Mr. Trump.

Trump is essentially an American Jeremy Corbyn, which is why he's indistinguishable from Bernie Sanders.

Posted by at January 1, 2016 11:41 AM