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Conservatives’ Short Term Bias and Political Strategy

We’ve seen the short term bias of the business-corporate Right, it is burned into them as grad students seeking their MBAs and reinforced to an even greater degree in a corporate culture where too often what should be strategic planning is reduced to tactical moves that barely look past the next quarterly profit statement.  This tendency informs and impacts their political thinking as well.  It also creates weaknesses to exploit.

Moving the GOP progressively further Right was a conscious strategic decision designed to drag the center along with it- to move the whole political discourse to the Right. The shift of the ideological CoG past its natural demographic balance point was seen as a manageable risk- and it seemed to work for a long time. The problem is that in return for this largely successful strategic movement you inevitably cede control of the party to its fringe and lose control of the ideological center that was the original ground you were trying to capture. Further, a cursory analysis of the demographic trends by age (and also by ethnic group AKA primarily Hispanics) shows that this mostly successful strategy has reached its logical endpoint and what is left is a GOP dependent on and controlled by a shrinking aging demographic that is ideologically entrenched, leaving the party without a lot of room to perform tactical or strategic maneuvers on policy in response to changing conditions on the political battlefield. Many of the necessary changes in policy direction to meet the shifting demographic trends have essentially been taken off the table in the rhetoric used to court the fringe that had to be engaged to implement the strategy of dragging the center to the Right. The GOP is thus in the untenable position of having to eventually change tactics if it wants to win future elections after having enshrined the existing ideological status quo as inviolable dogma.

The strategy of moving the center was successful, but actually too successful. As was inevitable from the beginning, they’ve moved it too far and will inevitably open it to successful attack on the Center- Left flank.

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Raymond Davis

Raymond Davis

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