Friday, February 22, 2013

The Increasing Division Between Leaders and People

The February 20, 2013 Forbes has a very thoughtful essay by Angelo Codevilla titled, "As Country Club Republicans Link Up With The Democratic Ruling Class, Millions Of Voters Are Orphaned".  I highly recommend that you read it.  His point is that the Republican Party is increasingly divided between much of the leadership, who are trying to become part of the ruling elite class (which is primarily Democrats), and what he calls the "country party": the largely conservative mass of the population (including many people who identify themselves as Democrats) and perhaps 2/3 of Republicans in Congress.

Many of us no longer have any significant representation in the political system because so much of the Republican Party is either trying to be part of the mandarin class who imagine themselves well-educated, when they merely attended elite schools, or have been to some extent co-opted by the elite system of wealth, patronage, and government promotion of corrupt, semi-fascist capitalism.  (And yes, at times, Rep. Labrador shows signs of being co-opted by these same forces -- the ones that keep insisting that there is a severe shortage of high-tech workers, and therefore we need a lot more foreign workers here on H1B or permanent resident status.)

I understand the reasoning of those who argue that a third party needs to form: a party committed to a smaller, less intrusive national government, one that balances its books by cutting spending, and returning more authority to the states.  But starting third parties that actually take power is really hard; the last success in the U.S. was before the Civil War.  Is there a way to perhaps drive the the country club Republicans out of the party?


  1. Here in Utah, we've just redistricted, having received a new representative in the US House. I was dismayed to note that part of the redistricting process included making sure every representative had an essentially equal-sized portion of the populated parts of the state. There may be good reasons for this that I don't know about, certainly; one down side is that there isn't a representative dedicated to those of us living in the middle of nowhere. Coincidentally, it's the people living in the middle of nowhere -- the ones that don't balk at the sight of a firearm, who live within a budget by nature because there isn't another way, and who realize sometimes things just have to get done -- who aren't well represented.

  2. When the co-opted at best Republicans are the establishment of the party, heck, even arrogated to themselves the rules for the next Presidential primary, it just doesn't seem very likely.

    I think Codevilla is highly optimistic in his implicit assumption, at least as he's willing to state in that essay, that our ruling class will allow a new opposition party to form without lawfare (using those tasty campaign finance and process laws) and outright violence.

    I'd say it's probably as likely the middle class will revolt as they tend to do when they get crushed like they've been for the last N years. These are of course linked, if real opposition, either through a reformed Republican party (despite the very possibly lethal brand damage it has suffered) or a new party is not allowed to form, the unrepresented won't have any good choices. And I think we're seeing a lot of signs they realize something of this sort.

  3. Glad you liked this article.

    Also take a look at Megan McArdle on America's New Mandarins.