To Remain Viable, Political Parties Require Internal Debate

Post-2016 tribalism has put defensiveness at the forefront of politics. Particularly on the right, Reagan’s 11th Commandment—don’t insult members of your own party—has always held sway, but the Trump cult of personality has put such thinking into overdrive. One cannot criticize the president on any grounds without being harangued, dragged over the coals and called any number of rude names you’d be loathe to repeat in front of your mother. The 11th Commandment has long…

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American Party Culture, Part 3: Purging Substance

A party which does not stand on substance, which does not appeal to voters on the merits of ideals but instead panders to vaguely defined social needs, cannot govern. Consensus, which is ultimately defined by the ever-shifting goalposts of public opinions, is worth more than demonstrably workable ideas. Modern politics defines morality by the numbers: the more people who approve of a policy, the more political capital is possesses. This attitude goes hand-in-hand with the…

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Intraparty GOP Opposition Should Be Touted in New Administration

The 2016 election represented a fundamental shift in American politics. Donald Trump’s ability to successfully position himself as a Republican who publicly repudiated traditional right-wing ideas such as free trade and limited government reconfigured the traditional two-party divide. America now has two parties that embrace a strong, managerial federal government. This is not a phenomenon solely dependent on Trump; he simply spearheaded the movement. An observation of Congressional Republican opposition to Obamacare—which slowly morphed from…

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