Comments Posted By Roderick Reilly
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Another thing that ought to be done is to broaden the appeal of the "Right" by thinking more in terms of loving and promoting individual freedom. So-called conservatives and libertarians tend to have a broader notion of what constitutes individual freedom because they include property rights and general economic rights. Promoting this more expansive concept of freedom to a wider audience sans the right-left labels may be the single most effective way to broaden the audience and support for "conservatism."

I don't think it's either disingenuous nor dishonest to abandon the label "conservative" to attract a larger audience. It has been my observation that many people who consider themselves "liberal" and wouldn't vote Republican on a bet share some or many of the same core values about self-interest, reason, and common sense as do conservatives and libertarians. I have labeled such people "Liberal Buts," as in "I'm a Liberal, BUT . . ." because I've heard that expression so many times from "liberals" who've just been mugged by reality.

Keep in mind that the dynamics of the American Left include a remarkable capacity for pissing off their allies. When many of the influential Democrats turned on the Clintons in favor of Obama, it was in large part because of resentment against the general character, tactics, and behavior of the Clintons and their immediate circle. What they are finding out now is that the Obama crowd is worse, perhaps by an order of magnitude (witness the bitterness of the "PUMAs"). Pulling more moderate people away from an increasingly radicalized Democratic Party should be part of the overall strategy for the movement "formerly known as conservatism."

Comment Posted By Roderick Reilly On 30.10.2008 @ 14:44

The American "Right" is different enough from the American "Left" that the same type of organizational structure and philosophy wouldn't work. This means that "conservatives" (the scare quotes are deliberate) have to take a step or two back to survey who they are and wha tmakes them tick and get motivated. On the political level -- as in supporting the GOP, for instance -- the 2004 model seemed to have worked very well. I found the grass-roots Republican organization to be more sincere than the Democratic one, in that it was largely volunteers, whereas the Democrats were often "for hire" types. Ironically, the Democrats seem to be using the same model this time as they did in '04, and it's working because of more money and greater numbers.

Comment Posted By Roderick Reilly On 30.10.2008 @ 14:30

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