Trying to Turn Republicans into Liberals Is Now Hopeless
David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, argues in The Atlantic that the Republican Party should become the party of liberalism in the United States.
As the Democrats move to left on economic policy, there is room for a party that defends free markets, free trade, limited government and personal liberty.
I agree, and before Donald Trump I was optimistic that the Republican Party could move in this direction. I called it Republican Party 2.0.
On the eve of the 2016 election, when I was still confident Hillary Clinton would win, I even urged Republicans to purge Trump’s insurgents and return the party to its pre-Newt Gingrich center-right bearings.
But then Trump won and now Republicans have surrendered to him and his philosophy. Read more
American Left Must Not Create Its Own Stab-in-the-Back Legend
The American left risks making the same mistake as the far right in blaming its political failures on the alleged impurity of its leaders.
The defeat of establishment-backed Democrats in New York and Massachusetts at the hands of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, respectively, is giving the left hope that America is finally ready for social democracy.
They wants Democrats to campaign on debt-free college education, Medicare-for-all, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and impeaching President Donald Trump.
They are appalled that Nancy Pelosi has promised to restore pay-as-you-go budgeting in a Democratic Congress — requiring spending cuts or tax increases to pay for new policies — fearing this will make overhauls of education, environmental law and health care impossible.
There are several problems with this attitude. Read more
Sánchez Has the Right Idea: A Referendum on Catalan Home Rule
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez has proposed calling a referendum on a renegotiated statute for Catalan home rule.
In 2010, the Spanish Constitutional Court rewrote parts of Catalonia’s 2006 autonomy statute. Most of the changes were minor, except they limited Catalonia’s fiscal autonomy and took out the description of Catalonia as a “nation”.
As a result, Sánchez said in a radio interview, “Catalonia has a statute that it didn’t vote for.”
78 percent of Catalan voters ratified the 2006 statute in a referendum. Read more
American conservatives who worry that the Democratic Party is becoming “socialist” should take a look across the Atlantic. In Britain, Labour has re-embraced actual statism and it is nevertheless polling neck and neck with the ruling Conservatives at 40 percent.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn calls for nationalizing industries and lifting regulatory restrictions on trade unions. He blames NATO for the Cold War, supports unilateral nuclear disarmament and sympathizes with seemingly every anti-Western cause, be it republican terrorism in Northern Ireland or Hamas and Hezbollah in the Holy Land.
The so-called socialism of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York candidate for Congress, and Bernie Sanders looks mild by comparison.
Universal health care? Debt-free college? More progressive taxation? That’s not even left-wing in Europe, it’s mainstream. Read more