Journalist Rick Perlstein recently asked for my forecast on the future of the Republican Party. It’s an important question. American political culture takes election victory to be the ratification of truth, which is why this question is usually addressed from the point of view of whether the party will continue to hold power. I would rather address the issue of what power has come to mean to the Republicans: namely, everything.
The Republican love of liberty, which seemed to be a sincere impulse of the party’s core during the 1990s, has been reduced to mere sloganeering. After many decades of balancing its ideological contradictions, the culture of the party – its leadership, activists, interest groups, and intellectual backers – has fully embraced power in all forms. [Full Article]