Taft, Dewey and Ike: The Republican War Over a New Direction After FDR

This is an excellent series of videos.

Mainstream liberalism and conservatism are governing ideologies of the Democratic Party and Republican Party respectively which emerged in response to the the Great Depression. These ideologies are embedded in time and reflect the political coalitions that came out of the New Deal.

New Deal liberalism on the Democratic side was built out of the two pillars of populism and progressivism which were two older ideas which had been dominant in the early 20th century. Conservatism on the Republican side was built out of libertarianism and social conservatism. This is how American politics was organized in the fifth or sixth party system and it has remained that way down to the present day. The great debate between the two parties was over the size and role of the federal government.

The problem is that 80 or 90 years have passed since we organized our politics this way. We’re not arguing over the New Deal anymore. Entire regions of the country have shifted their political allegiance. New issues have been raised which have shifted the political coalitions of both parties. We now live in a time when populists and progressives are at odds and libertarians and social conservatives are at odds. The parties are now bitterly divided over questions of national identity, culture and values.

The Democratic Party is defined by social liberalism or cosmopolitanism. The Republican Party is defined by social conservatism or traditionalism. The working class is split between the two parties and the White working class dominates the Republican Party. The same divide which is driven by the same cluster of cultural issues which are centered on attitudes toward modernism has emerged in other Western countries. The age of Robert Taft, Thomas Dewey and Dwight Eisenhower feels remote.

If you were to go back thirty years ago, you could find a large contingent of social conservatives who were Blue Dog Democrats when Bill Clinton was president. The Democrats were competitive with White working class voters until Obama was elected president. Those people have largely gone extinct as first the Deep South, then the Upper South, then the Border States and then the Midwest has trended Republican. Progressives have become a larger and larger share of the base of the Democratic Party due to the resorting of the electorate as affluent, college-educated PMCs have concentrated there.

The Republicans look at this groundswell of support as a mandate for mainstream conservatism. They try to push it into the “size and role of government” frame when that is not the issue. The real issue is that rural voters and working class voters despise the political establishment and the degeneration of their culture, not to mention all of these stupid wars or the hollowing out of the economy of the Heartland which also reflects the policy preferences of the political establishment, and have engaged in round after round of backlash politics in order to punish the Democrats. Electing Trump as president was the latest backlash in a long series of backlashes that stretch ultimately back to the Dixiecrat revolt against Harry Truman and on through the Civil Rights Movement to Nixon and Reagan and beyond.

The vast majority of Republican voters are now people who were brought over as a result of some culturally motivated backlash against the Democrats. The people like Baseball Crank are a small minority. This process has rapidly accelerated since the 2012 election.

About Hunter Wallace 12148 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

3 Comments

  1. The Democratic Party is all about nonwhite Race Power…..Native Born White American Working Class People should be no more no less racist than the nonwhite Democratic Party Voting Bloc….

  2. Dewey might have been the last candidate that didn’t completely suck Shlomoshlong. I suspect the 2020 election was not the only election to implement massive voter fraud.

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