Conservative Party Uselessness On Both Sides Of Atlantic
That's Rishi Sunak, the Tory PM of the United Kingdom. Hard to swing a dead cat in Britain today without hitting a gloomy Tory voter. If an election were held next week, the Conservative Party would lose in a landslide. Lord David Frost's latest Telegraph column is about how the Tories can win people back. Excerpts:
Those who advocate a focus on stability, on calm, on managerialism, often seem to believe current political and economic forces must be accommodated, not changed. If you think the Conservative brand is irrevocably damaged, that young people will never vote Conservative again, that health costs will always go up, that people always want higher spending, then obviously you will go down the road we have seen in recent years.
But politics is about more than adapting to the environment. It is about changing it, about persuading, and about acting so voters can believe that another reality is possible, that minds can be changed, that problems can be solved. That often requires confrontation not appeasement, determination not conciliation.
Here's a part that stood out to me, as a US conservative voter:
Third, we need to rebuild confidence amongst our voters. Here one thing is crucial. I have spent virtually every weekend this autumn speaking to Party members and Conservative voters. They believe the country’s institutions have failed them. They simply do not trust the country’s establishment to do the jobs they have been given – to police the streets, to protect our borders, to heal the sick, to educate the young in a non-political way, to protect free speech, and not to give in to every fashionable social doctrine. Worse, they don’t think the government understands or cares how they feel. Indeed I suspect they think many ministers, far from trying to solve the problem, are part of it.
Of course, specific policies this year are important too – crucially, solving the Channel boats problem and bringing down immigration generally, but also worthwhile anti-strike legislation, no fuel duty increases, blocking the Scottish gender reform law, and getting a genuinely defensible outcome on Northern Ireland, not some shabby compromise.
But it’s also about style. This government has an establishment feel about it. If it wants to restore confidence it must show it speaks for the people and does not instinctively defend “the way things are”. In short, it must become populist again.
Now, let me ask you conservative readers: Do you believe that America's institutions have failed you? Do you trust America's establishment to police the streets, to protect our borders, to heal the sick, to educate the young in a non-political way, to protect free speech, and not to give in to every fashionable social doctrine? Do you think the Republican Party understands or cares how you feel? Do you believe that the GOP leadership, far from trying to solve the problem, is part of it?
True, the GOP is out of power in the US, while the Tories are the government in the UK. Still, though, Lord Frost's observations about his own party could apply in large part to the conservative party in the US. Could it be that there were people in this past election who might have voted Republican, but didn't think the party was serious about change -- as opposed to empty sloganeering among the would-be populists, and business-as-usual among the Usual GOP Suspects?
Not sure. What I am sure of is that the GOP didn't give people a real reason to vote for them, aside from Not Being Democrats. That's enough for me, most of the time, but what a sorry situation that is. "I guess I'll have to vote for the guy who won't say a word about the dragification of kids, because he's better than the guy who sends out press releases celebrating it."
Maybe Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is the man we're looking for. After a truly obscene Christmas drag queen road show came to Florida, DeSantis announced a state investigation to see if it broke any laws. Here's some footage of this same show, when it appeared earlier in the month in Austin:
The point is not that obscene drag shows for kids are the most serious problem facing America. The problem is that overall, the culture -- especially woke capitalism -- is sexualizing children to a disgusting degree, but the leaders of the conservative party are sitting there with their thumbs up their backsides, terrified of being called bigots. All the things that Lord Frost finds wanting in the UK Conservative Party are also problematic in America. I care far more about protecting America's borders than I do about filthy drag shows for kids, but if Republicans can't even pluck low-hanging, uh, fruit like that...? If they have no freaking clue what to do about the woke-ification of American education, and think somehow that, as Mitch McConnell put it the other day, funding the war in Ukraine is the No. 1 priority for Congress -- more important even than the future of America itself -- well what is the point of having a conservative party? I ask you.
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Maybe Republicans and Tories are afraid of younger voters. See graphs on the left:
Maybe, though, people would really like to have a serious alternative to the Left parties. Seems to me like DeSantis might just offer that. We'll see.
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