I’m not an Objectivist, but Edward Cline over at Capitalism Magazine does a good job of nailing the problem with Republicans — it has become a party, like the Democrats, that espouses a conservative political philosophy that has become almost as meaningless as the liberal political philosophy espoused by the Democrats.
Instead, the Republicans and the Democrats both subscribe to the simple pragmatic view that their business is doing whatever it will take to win elections, and damn any principles.
His latest column, however, points up the main problem with the Republican Party, and with Sowell’s argument, which is chiefly that conservatism, as an ideology or a set of principles, is utterly bankrupt. Its adherents can only try to out-shout the Democratic Party that they could do a better job of “managing” the country and the economy, when the best solution is to get the government out of the economy and back to its Constitutional mandate of protecting individual rights. But such a solution is as abhorrent to the Republicans as it is to the Democrats. It would entail a relinquishment of power and the repudiation of not only the welfare state, but of the roles of God, family and other “traditional” values in the GOP platform. Any other course of action will guarantee a sentence of irrelevancy of the Republican Party.
Not going to happen, of course, but I doubt the Republican Party will be sentenced to irrelevance. Rather the continued reduction in any palpable difference in the substantive positions of either party will continue. Certainly the targets may be somewhat different (business owners rather than illegal immigrants), but even there the debate is gradually shifting away from differences over goals and rather over which party is better suited to administer the Leviathan state.
And since neither party is particularly suited for this (note how both parties seem afflicted by endemic corruption when they are in power), the likely future of American politics is a regular oscillation of power between the two parties without a substantive change in actual polices.
One need only look at how quickly Barack Obama’s administration adopted and defended some of the worst policies of the Bush administration that many of Obama’s supporters presumed they were electing him to dispense with.