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Reblogged:Ideas Are the Flip-Switch of Our Political 'Ratchet'

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"If the 'conservatives' do not stand for capitalism, they stand for and are nothing; they have no goal, no direction, no political principles, no social ideals, no intellectual values, no leadership to offer anyone.

"Yet capitalism is what the 'conservatives' dare not advocate or defend..." -- Ayn Rand, in "Conservatism: An Obituary," 1962

A piece at MSNBC notes -- sixty years after Ayn Rand made the above observation -- "It wasn't that long ago that Republicans boasted about being the party of ideas," before cataloging evidence to the contrary from Republican behavior over the last few years.

The following conclusion will surprise exactly nobody who has made any serious study of Ayn Rand:
Image by Eric Wendt, via Unsplash, license.
While Democrats are fighting over the details of policy proposals that could create the nation's first paid family and medical leave program, make pre-K universal, lower the cost of child care, expand Medicare and prepare the nation for the effects of climate change, the GOP is contentedly sitting on the sidelines, throwing spitballs and complaining that the whole thing is going to cost too much money.

Republican campaigns are increasingly defined by a laser-like focus on cultural issues, such as "critical race theory" [sic] or nonexistent voter fraud, with barely a mention of serious substantive policies. None of this is even considered unusual or surprising anymore. It's just the way things are in politics today.

Ironically, it wasn't that long ago that Republicans boasted about being the party of ideas. Conservative think tanks proudly rolled out policy proposals and encouraged Republican officials to embrace them. Today, other than venerating former President Donald Trump or accusing Democrats of being socialists or communists, it's hard to find a single policy issue that defines the modern Republican Party. [bold added]
Oh yeah, and they basically did nothing of their own (including getting rid of Democrat policies) the last time they did have power.

That said, one criticism: Michael Cohen forgot to mention that the reason the Republicans think they can sit this one out is that they are counting on the American public to eject the Democrats on the basis of the craziness of their policy proposals and their out-of-control urge to confiscate their money and endanger American prosperity.

That might work for an election cycle or two, but without something as a policy proposal backed by a compelling moral argument to counter the inevitable widows and orphans! the left will wail about, the Republicans will continue only slightly retarding America's descent into statism. (And then we'll get to hear about how socialism is like a ratchet for the millionth time, as if ratchets can't be made to work in more than one direction.)

Ratchets don't operate themselves, and they have switches: A significant number of Americans -- on the right or otherwise -- must discover Ayn Rand, and specifically her moral case for freedom. That is what it will take to switch the ratchet, so that American politics will begin trending in a good, pro-liberty direction again.

-- CAV

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