In reading many op-eds and news stories with the upcoming fall midterm elections, I have noticed a strange dichotomy existing through the media. First, with thanks to Dan Froomkin, as he wrote here, many Republicans up for re-election are trying to distance themselves from President Bush and the administration.
However, opposite to that, many people still are staunch Republicans -- Republicans loyal to Bush -- including a few people I know personally. And in today’s society many people I know are prescribing to the idea of neo-conservatism that Glenn Greenwald explains. To those people, whom I still consider great friends, that is a now part of their Republican platform.
I can still remember in history class about Dwight Eisenhower’s warning on the military industrial complex. After Eisenhower’s presidency, he was known for being a supporter of Barry Goldwater and the conservative movement associated with it. It was this movement that influenced Karl Rove to leave the University of Utah and start working with the College Republicans.
Democrats from the 30s were associated with populist movements, and more importantly, the Middle American farmer. Yet, over time, this has changed as well. In today’s political climate, those same citizens in Middle America vote on the majority for the Republican ticket. Rightfully so, many Republicans now vote through the farm subsidies that keep these farmers competitive (or world farmers not competitive). My question is why the shift. What did Democrats do to disenfranchise their former base back then? Perhaps some light is shed on by Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when he commented, “We have lost the South for a generation.” Possibly there have been similar effects in the middle of America as well.
So, through the effects of terrorism and increasing tensions in the world, most specifically, the Middle East, the Republican Party has become a party that uses its now assertive military ideology for our safety.
My questions to any reader, and even to myself: Is this progression proper? Why do you think conservatives like George Will and William Buckley disagree with some of George W Bush’s policies? Do Will and Buckley represent the schism of conservatism and neo-conservatism that Froomkin alludes to?