Monday, February 18, 2013

Why Rand Rose?

Matt Lewis offers some interesting thoughts on why Randian thought has risen on the right---at the expense of certain kinds of conservative traditionalism:
But in recent years, additions to the movement have largely served as a backlash against the family values stressed by this Judeo-Christian coalition.
After 9-11, a lot of Americans were shocked out of their reverie — and into the conservative movement. Some of these folks have gone on to play key leadership roles in conservatism. This is fine, in and of itself. But being conservative is about more than being anti-terror.
The election of Barack Obama, coupled with a huge debt and the stimulus, led to the rise of the tea party movement — bringing a lot of new activists into the fight. But despite the fact that many of these same tea party members were also Christians, there is little doubt that the movement adopted a much more Randian ethos.
Because politicians eventually adapt to please their base, some Republicans adapted to this new brand of conservatism with a little bit too much gusto. And so you had Mitt Romney making “you didn’t build that” the theme of the convention. And, of course, there was the “47 percent”…
To be sure, this message plays very well within the base of the movement. But if it were possible to make conservatism even less appealing to average Americans (not to mention Hispanics), overemphasizing the rugged individualism aspect of conservatism, and downplaying its communitarian aspect, was the coup de grĂ¢ce.

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