You can’t get the votes, idiot.
That’s how policy analysts rebut anyone who suggests that the best Republican platform is the old one. They say the era of advancing the abstractions of traditional liberty, austere government, and low taxes is past; to win, Republicans have to act like Democrats, offering social programs, child credits, and cooperation with labor unions. Or, as Julius Krein, the editor of American Affairs, put it in a recent William F. Buckley Jr. Program event at Yale: “The Democrats represent the ascendant economic winners. I don’t think that another lecture on Hayek is going to change that …
This article appears as “It Takes a Coolidge” in the December 17, 2020, print edition of National Review.
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