The Independent Institute's email newsletter today, October 27, tells what reforms Republicans must consider in the inevitable backlash that will occur after Barack Obama wins the presidency next week:
Conservatives in Crisis
Barack Obama's recent endorsements from Christopher Buckley and Colin Powell, and strong criticisms of the Republican Party made by fellow travelers such as Kathleen Parker, Peggy Noonan, and David Brooks, suggest that the G.O.P. is headed for a major shake-up after next week's election, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow Alvaro Vargas Llosa, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Global Prosperity.
Vargas Llosa points to three factors within the Republican Party that have contributed to recent defections and falling popularity with voters: its blurring of a populism that mistrusts political pull and a populism that favors rural culture over urban culture; the clash between the rhetoric of limited government and the reality of growing federal expenditures under the Bush administration and its congressional supporters; and the spread of a neo-Puritanism. Until Republican leaders straighten out the mixed messages they are sending the rank and file, their party's electoral victories are likely to become increasingly elusive.
Vargas Llosa writes: "After the elections, conservatives will have to do some serious soul-searching and ask themselves a few simple questions: How was it that they let their movement and their party be hijacked by people who were hellbent on disfiguring the face of American conservatism? How was it that the self-styled party of individual liberty became, in the eyes of many, the party of big government, intolerance and jingoism?"
"The Conservative Rebellion," by Alvaro Vargas Llosa (10/21/08)
Lessons from the Poor: Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit, edited by Alvaro Vargas Llosa.
Liberty for Latin America: How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa.