Does High-Brow Conservatism Beget Low-Brow Conservatism? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Does High-Brow Conservatism Beget Low-Brow Conservatism?

Dan McCarthy argues that as the Republican Party more tightly embraces a weak-tea platform with little popular support, the more it relies on identity politics and liberal-bashing to turn out the base. And while high-brow conservatives chastise Sarah Palin, Joe the Plumber, and the birthers, the platform they advocate — an expanded (but family-friendly!) welfare state at home plus the Great Society exported to the Middle East — is so unpopular that Republicans have to cover it up with piles of red meat come election time.

I made a different but related argument when trying to explain why social conservatives are blamed for the Republican losses of 2006 and 2008 when their issues played a smaller role than in 2002 and 2004, when the GOP won. The GOP tends to treat social conservatism as red-state, silent-majority identity politics — Real America! Drill baby, drill! Hockey moms! — rather than a coherent defense of life, the family, and traditional values.

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