December 01, 2003
Stephen Green declared T.R. Fehrenbach's op-ed "required reading." It's good because it goes into the mind of our (conservative's) political opponents. The summary of the piece goes like this: conservatives/Republicans are beating liberals/Democrats because the former focus on strategic thinking and the pursuit of innovative ideas. Liberals/Dems instead are "long for office." This makes them become fixated on putting "together winning coalitions, not a generation from now, but today."
This difference can be seen from conservative intellectual history. After FDR's political victories in implementing his New Deal, many conservatives felt that even if their ideas were better they wouldn't be put into effect. Folks like Albert Jay Nock reserved their thoughts for the "Remnant" who would keep conservative ideas alive until there was ever a time society would accept them. They were a pessimistic lot.
Compare this to the Democrats/liberals. After the New Deal, they were the major political power for over 40 years. Running government and winning elections became their sole (and important) talent.
Now, the tide has turned. Liberals/Democrats have to create their own idea factories while conservatives/Republicans have to learn how govern in a conservative way that doesn't bust the bank. Historically, we're in a political transition period (one that started in 1994 with Newt Gingrich), and like many moments of change, they can be quite messy.
"Democrats Should Learn from Conservatives"