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Core Principles


An e-mail:

Don’t quite understand your doubt about George Will’s definition of GOP core principles? The flippant response is to note that, having done more than anyone save WFB to publicly promote conservative thought, those cited by George Will are core GOP principles because he says they are. More seriously, which of the principles he cites as core (free trade, low taxes, free markets) do you take issue with? Can they not be core principles if you can’t use them as a vehicle to attack Giuliani?
RP: My post wasn’t an attack on Giuliani. I don’t think Will’s distinction between core principles such as free trade and recent innovations such as opposition to abortion holds. Don’t get me wrong: I am very nearly a pure free trader. But Republicans, from Coolidge through Goldwater, had a strong protectionist streak. (I believe Goldwater also voted against the Kennedy tax cuts.) Reagan imposed “voluntary restraints” on Japanese exports that were worse than anything Huckabee is talking about.

I think that all Will is saying is that he considers economic issues more important than social ones.


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