Should the GOP learn from the British Tories?

The American Enterprise Institute’s John Fortier says yes, citing the example of the 1994 Contract with America as a platform that appealed to both moderates and conservatives.  He urges the GOP to learn from David Cameron’s drift to the center.

The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel (referred to in Fortier’s piece) says no, saying that Cameron’s Tories only succeeded in being less offensive than the failed Labour (hey, it’s kind of fun to use British spelling) government rather than standing for anything.

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2 comments

  1. I don’t know British politics well enough to judge whether the Tories’ change is principled or one of political opportunism, but I think the populist Contract With America is an excellent model for the GOP, since it could provide specificity, unity, clarity of purpose, and popular support centered on conservative ideals.

    Plus, if the Republicans in Congress get behind it, then we can finally point to the practical significance of the GOP rather than conjecture about it or its sloganeers.

    However, framing it as moving to the center or compromising party ideology might not get as far as simply emphasizing conservative principles that have been dormant. I think that your latest post actually advocates this as well. Then, the long term follow through is actually maintaining those core principles by creating a framework for resisting fragmentation or corruption.

    Due to shifts in culture and judiciary, abortion and homosexual related issues do seem to be waning for conservatives. I don’t think they need to be abandoned, but they should not be pushed at the expense of other core principles such as individual liberty, limited government, fiscal prudence, etc. Those should also dovetail well with transparency and anti-corruption.

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