It’s probably futile to try to change current Republicans. It’s smarter to build a new wing of the Republican Party, one that can compete in the Northeast, the mid-Atlantic states, in the upper Midwest and along the West Coast. It’s smarter to build a new division that is different the way the Westin is different than the Sheraton.All right, forget the hookers and the blackjack. Instead, it'll be a new party that abandons its pathological aversion to government, and instead fashions itself after the wisdom of people David Brooks likes, people who may or may not have written books about how certain people are just plain smarter than others. Republicans can ditch their aversion to Medicare, Social Security, minorities, "urban" folks and so on, and instead advocate for all the exact same things, but from a slightly less discredited starting point (and really, if you're going to abandon your movement's race-skeptical, science-butchering recent past, you really can't do better than putting up Charles Murray as your new poster child. I mean really. Golf clap, on that one).
The second G.O.P. wouldn’t be based on the Encroachment Story. It would be based on the idea that America is being hit simultaneously by two crises, which you might call the Mancur Olson crisis and the Charles Murray crisis.
Olson argued that nations decline because their aging institutions get bloated and sclerotic and retard national dynamism. Murray argues that America is coming apart, dividing into two nations — one with high education levels, stable families and good opportunities and the other with low education levels, unstable families and bad opportunities.
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In the end, though, this is just another iteration of the most hoary of all op-ed traditions; the statement that one or both of our current political parties suck, followed by the pronouncement that what's most needed is a new party that caters specifically to the narrow personality of the op-ed writer. So the target audience of this new Republican Party would be, obviously, people like David Brooks:
The second G.O.P. would tackle both problems at once. It would be filled with people who recoiled at President Obama’s second Inaugural Address because of its excessive faith in centralized power, but who don’t share the absolute antigovernment story of the current G.O.P.So people who are far enough afield, politically, to think the rather ideologically banal Obama is secretly something like a communist, but who don't necessarily agree that the concept of a federal government existing at all is an abomination. You know, nuanced.
Brooks ends by observing that the current Republican Party base would not take kindly to the co-opting, but that someone's got to do it anyway—presumably because there's a hidden treasure-trove of David Brookses out there who would run to that new party wing by the millions, people whose laudatory op-eds would more than make up for the loss of all those current befuddled gubbermint-haters in the base who presumably would not be coming along for the ride. Who exactly might be able to pull such a thing off, and how they pull it off without having their careers gleefully destroyed by a base that currently obsesses over finding, punishing, and politically expunging ideological apostates, is a problem left to the reader. If we're volunteering people, I'll say that Marco Rubio should give that a try, just because I think it'd be funny as hell to watch.