Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Llosa on the Conservative Revolt Against the GOP

Alvaro Vargas Llosa has written a brilliant summation over at The New Republic on the growing chasm between the old intellectual right and the Neo-con Religious Right alliance which currently controls the GOP. He runs through the laundry list of right-wing minds who have come out recently against McCain-Palin and the direction the GOP is heading, and the GOP faithful's reaction to these supposed betrayals. He explains the rift as a result of the deviation of the GOP from the principals of intellectual conservatism, and describes thusly:
This deviation expresses itself in different ways. First, in the confusion between Jeffersonian populism -- a salutary mistrust of economic power allied to political power--and class-based populism, which is what Republican leaders promote when they scorn America's coastal and big-city culture. Second, in the contradiction between a low-tax, low-spend policy and an interventionist foreign policy that, by definition, is costly--as every empire in the history of mankind eventually and painfully found out. Last, in modern-day Puritanism, which started, perhaps understandably, as a reaction against the cultural excesses of the 1960s but ended up turning into what H.L. Mencken described decades earlier as "grounded upon the inferior man's hatred of the man who is having a better time."
These fundamental deviations from conservatism crystallized in the Bush administration. The result was the biggest growth in government since the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, a loss of international prestige and, in purely political terms, the alienation of millions of people who could have been attracted to the Republican Party had its libertarian roots been preserved in dealing with social issues.

Hear, hear. And the Palin pick was the clearest illustration the Party could have given of the anti-intellectualism which has become so pervasive among the religious right and movement conservatives.

Read the whole article. Good stuff.

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