|Newsweek GOP: You're old, You're white, You're history!|
The magazine seems to expect that its readers are on board with the passing of white America, so that it can be talked about openly and breezily as an acceptable development in American society. The historic, founding people of the U.S. don't seem to count for much in the minds of Newsweek liberals.
The headline advertises a piece by David Frum which attempts to point a way forward for the Republicans. The article has some interesting observations such as this:
The central divide in American politics is the same as the divide in almost every advanced democracy on earth: between one party more committed to private enterprise and another party more supportive of the public sector. These parties may be called Conservative and Labour, Christian Democrat and Social Democrat, Gaullist and Socialist.
I've argued something similar: that both left and right share the same underlying liberal philosophy, but that the right prefers society to be regulated by the market, whereas the left wants society to be regulated by the neutral expertise of a state bureaucracy.
So what is Frum's solution for the Republicans? He's not exactly a straight talker. He speaks, for instance, of the need for the GOP to become "economically inclusive". Which is code for what? Reading between the lines, he seems to want the GOP to appeal more to those lower down the economic scale. But how? He doesn't spell it out.
He also wants the GOP to become "culturally modern". But again he doesn't spell out what this means in practice.
Finally there's a lot of rhetoric about being future oriented. There's no clear indication, though, of what that means apart from being committed to technology.
The impression you get is that Frum doesn't believe in much at all. His message seems to be that a successful political party will look at whatever is happening in society and embrace it as the future.
I don't think that's how the left works. The left has an agenda and then changes society in line with that agenda. In fact, the left has a concept of what is just and then leads a moral crusade to impose this concept of justice on society.
According to Frum, the right should not attempt to lead in this way, but should instead jump to the front of whatever cultural and social trends are happening in society - trends which the left will have initiated decades previously.
That is a deeply unappealing strategy if you oppose the larger liberal trends in society. But Frum has already explained that there's not much of an ideological difference between left and right anyway - his party just has more of an emphasis on the free market.
So perhaps Frum is relaxed with the left doing the "social work" of moving society along in a liberal direction, whilst the right just goes along with it whilst keeping sufficiently up to date to have a good chance of winning office.