Tag Archives: Republican Convention

On the Republican Convention, translated for liberals by Tyler Cowen and Cass Sunstein

21 Jul

Tyler Cowen:

The Straussian interpretation of the Republican Convention is the correct one, which is perhaps one reason why Peter Thiel will be speaking there. They are not saying what they are saying, in fact they are saying “the world is going to hell, and many of those amongst us have been traitorously disloyal. That is why we scream out stupidities, debase ourselves, and court attention by waving our arms in ridiculous ways. We are a small church seeking to become larger.” Is that not how many smaller churches behave? Is that not how some of the early branches of the Christian church behaved? Did they have any influence?

Cass Sunstein:

Many Democrats do not merely disagree with the Republican Party platform and with the speakers at this week’s convention. They may even struggle to understand what they are reading and hearing.

That’s a problem for Republican politicians, who hope to connect with Democratic voters, but even more for Democrats, who hope to keep the presidency and to capture the Senate. The reason is that Republicans are appealing to deep and honorable strands in American political culture, which Democrats ignore at their peril.

The best explanation comes from New York University’s Jonathan Haidt, who has produced some of the most illuminating recent work on political psychology. Haidt’s central finding is that across many cultures, human beings have embraced five distinct moral foundations: fairness, avoidance of harm, respect for authority, purity (as opposed to disgust), and loyalty. Contemporary U. S. conservatives embrace all five; liberals emphasize the first two, but care much less about the last three.

Haidt has compiled massive evidence to support these conclusions. Conservatives and liberals agree that it’s wrong to break a promise; that’s unfair. They also concur that it’s wrong to assault someone; that’s harmful. But conservatives feel far more outrage when people have acted disrespectfully toward their superiors, engaged in what they view as a disgusting act or breached a duty of loyalty. Liberals don’t like any of those things either, but to them, avoiding unfairness and harm is much more important.

The 2016 Republican Party platform and convention may well be placing a greater emphasis on authority, purity, and loyalty than at any time since the early 1970s, when Richard Nixon underlined the need to respect authority, making “law and order” a defining Republican theme. (Ronald Reagan once starred in a movie with that title.) Increasingly, Donald Trump is echoing that theme.

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His Supporters Treated “Atrociously,” Ron Paul Refuses to Back Romney | The Nation

29 Aug

GOP = Gutless Old Plutocrats:

As Santorum spoke, not on the message of the night but on a deeper message of outreach to working-class voters delivered the language both parties once employed, the crowd that packed the great hall roared with approval — if not entirely for the political point then surely for the relief from the drab repetition that defined “We Built It” night. This was not the empty rhetoric molded by the mandarins who have managed the life out of the 40th Republican National Convention.

The only speech that might have been more engaging would have been the one that wasn’t delivered — by Ron Paul.

Paul was the Romney challenger who stayed in the race longest, and who won almost 200 delegate votes (193 by the Seattle Times count) during the Tuesday night roll call that nominated Romney.

Once upon a time, that might have guaranteed him a convention speaking slot.

But Paul was not allowed near the podium. And the party brass engineered a rewrite of the rules for the 2016 nominating process in order to assure that neither Paul — not anyone else as interesting, or dissenting — will ever again be able to beat the establishment at its own game and win substantial numbers of delegates. The Paul delegates, many Tea Party conservatives and a number of renegade Romney delegates objected, creating the only real drama of the day, and the convention.

via His Supporters Treated “Atrociously,” Ron Paul Refuses to Back Romney | The Nation.

Ron Paul’s waging a cagy race that may have surprising results

3 May

Writing in Salon, Steve Kronacki reports that Repuiblic honchos are getting worried:

…the political world stopped paying attention to Paul about two months ago, and the threat of him bolting the GOP and running as an independent – a scenario long feared by Republicans – passed long ago.

And yet, the RNC’s chief counsel felt the need this week to issue a warning to the Nevada state GOP about the Paul campaign. At issue is this weekend’s Nevada Republican convention, where delegates to the national convention will be chosen. The state’s caucuses in February were a truly messy (that’s the polite word) affair, but Romney was the clear and overwhelming winner.

On Saturday, though, Paul supporters are expected to flood the state convention and could account for the lion’s share of attendees. This is what prompted the RNC’s counsel to warn the state party that its delegation might be denied seating in Tampa if it’s dominated by Paul-ites. Continue reading