Conservatism vs. Progressivism


Nominal Definitions

Taxonomy of Democracy

Conservatism vs. Progressivism

Party Politics

A republic is a free, equal, self-ruling people.

Democracy requires majority rule as  people disagree.

Possible limits on democracy or majority rule
1. Majority may elect representatives to pass laws.
. Guarantees of individual rights for all, including minorities
3. A constitution that limits what governments can do to mi

Classical Liberalism, supported by today's conservatives
1. high degree of individual liberties, a free-market economy

2. constitutional limits to government power
3. few restrictions on individual freedom of property owners

See The Original Intent of the Constitution |
Myths of American History - YouTube



Conservatism vs. Progressivism

1. Traditional, Modern and American Conservatism

2. Traditional and Modern Progressivism

3. State Capacity Libertarianism
Marginal Revolution

Traditional vs Modern and American Conservatism

Traditional from from Conservative Sensibility by George Will

Preserve the Founders Thinking as custodians of the classical liberal tradition.

Rights are natural.
They preexist acts of human will and can not be nullified by such acts.
Therefore, if rights are natural, so to is government limited and
government's main purpose is to "secure these rights."

Human nature is permanent
and statesmanship is to develop a political system,
 that is conducive to and in accord with, the nature of humans.

Classical Liberalism is called Conservatisms in United States.

The creative arena of human affairs
is society which is distinct from government whose proper function
 is to protect life/liberty primarily for the individual's private pursuit of happiness.
It is the Jeffersonian spirit to be Democratic.

Modern Conservatism Goals

1. Task is to Warn of what is perishable among the freedoms/liberty
granted in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution
arising from the political appetite for immediate gratification
of unlimited wants of the American People.

2. Core Purpose is to reconnect society with the Principles of the Founding.
 This was the radical worry and Core Purpose of Abe Lincolns political life.

2. Radical Worry is the causal relationship
between post new deal government power/ambitions
and the fraying of the culture while 
progressive worry about economic/material distributive justice.

See The conservative sensibility video

Tension Between Dynamics of Economic Appetites
and a Need for Political and Economic Discipline
This is the cultural contradiction/consequence of capitalism.
The Republic Party's most pressing task
 is to demonstrate that the political habits of restraint and
moderation are compatible with an economic and cultural ambience of a free society.
 Success is dependent on the political habits
related to self-reliance and self-restraint.

Virtues of self governmen
t are the political habits related to self-reliance and self-restraint.

American Conservatism
Based on US Declaration of Independence

"We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights
, that among these are
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
. —
That to secure these rights,
Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just powers
 from the consent of the governed..." 

Editor's Note: George basis his argument on the Declaration of Independence
which explains what the colonies wanted to protect their "rights" from the king of England.
Anything that interferes with these "rights" is not allowed.

Traditional Progressivism:
The Modern Political Tradition: Hobbes to Habermas
Everything is in flux with various human natures.
Human nature that is always in a state of becoming and statesmanship
 is the understanding and directing of shaping forces.

New Deal Progressivism of FDR saw society changing with the industrial revolution.
A Progressive, he believed in a changing human nature.
He expanding government beyond providing conditions for perusing happiness
 to providing economics rights to supplement Political Rights.

Determining the final arbiter
is always contested.
Men say it's them. Relegion say it's God. Who is the final arbiter on economic rights?
: For now it is the US Supreme Court is in charge
unless the people take responsibility and change the constitution..

Managerial Progressives of the 1960's
believed policy elite managers would direct government operations
 from above and end the business cycles.

Progressivism Required Capitalist Pay Their Liabilities
that arise
from a dependency on manageable social conditions.

Major Reforms: Early 20th century, FDR of 1930s and LBJ of 1960's 
Agencies for trust-busting led to
Eight-hour work day,
minimum wage, worker’s compensation, social insurance for the
elderly, disabled, and unemployed

16th Amendment 1909 Income tax 1913
17th Amendment 1913 Direct election of senators

19th Amendment 1920
Votes for women 
1960's Welfare enhancements

Forms of Welfare Capitalism
Liberal model:
safety net for the poor, disabled and elderly individuals
Christian Democratic Community occupational benefits to households
Social democratic-Nordic model has comprehensive universal services for all.

Conflicting complex values of equality and liberty
cause  laissez-faire capitalists, progressives, and socialists to be in a continuing state of turmoil

Types of Equality:
1. Civic equality
before the law
2, Outcome equality requires some kind of socialism.
3. Opportunity equality attempts to uses education,  health care ... to eliminates birth-status. advantages

Concepts of liberty:
Positive notion of liberty as
1) self-determination

2) fulfillment of purposes or actualization of potentialities

are used to justify communal or governmental adjustment of the outcomes
 from the aggressive nature of free market.

Negative notion of liberty as absence of coercion connects with less government

American Progressivism
Inspired by American Nations by
Golin Woodard

Based on US Constitution

"We the People of the United States,
in Order to form a more perfect Union,
establish justice
, insure domestic Tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general Welfare

and secure the Blessings of Liberty
to ourselves and our Posterity,
do ordain and establish this Constitution
for the United States of America."


Editor's Note: The Constitution of the United States was needed
to help the interaction among independent states.
Thomas Payne's famous Life, Liberty and Property
was changed to Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
How people lived was important to our founders.

Post WW2 Summary

1950-1980 Liberals Dominate
Roe Wade, Race Integration, Social Programs

1981-2016 Conservatives Dominate
with Globalization, Tax Cuts-especially for business and rich

1988-2020 FED Easy money
lead to High Business Income lead to massive Stock Market Gains.

1950 to 2020 Globalization
 leads to income inequality as the top 10 % do very well and
the lower 50% receive a small income increase and
a large wellbeing boost from
Medicare and Medicaid, SS, Tax Credits and SNAP type assistance.

2020-2030 will be a time of insecurity leading to anxiety.


Party Politics from P Zeihan

1. Nixon's Republican Party

2. A Democratic Renaissance?

3. Political Parties After Trump

1. Republican Party of Nixon
Extreme wealth and corporate power
are financial constituency of the Republican Party Establishment.
But you need to get votes and money and power does not sell to the masses.
They needed a voting base. Richard Nixon began the process
with his Southern Strategy of attracting Southern racists.
Then, because Northern Roman Catholics voted for Democrats, Republicans leaders changed stripes.
 They became anti-abortion. This would attract evangelicals.

Republican Party 1970's position had been pro-choice.
 RR, GHW Bush and most Republican leaders felt abortion was not the government's business.
 It was private business and Feds should not be involved.
 Then they quickly added Gun Rights. This second cultural issue,
after abortions, created their acknowledged voter base.
These issues were tolerable to their financial base and help hold their voting base.

Legislation to lower taxes and limiting regulation kept the financial base in line.
 McConnell and Ryan served the money/power constituency while Trump,
worked for the rich and kept voters entertained.

Recent Republicans presidential hopefuls desired by the voting base
were not acceptable to the party establishment, the donor base.
 Year after year the base was crushed. Think M. Beckman, H. Cane, and R. Santorum.
 But in 2016, the establishment could not crush Trump,
the candidate wanted by the "primary" voting base.

Democrats Replaced Moderate Republicans.
A new liberal period was firmly established by the 1970's.
It shifted both political parties to the right.
The Democratic Party pretty much abandon the working class.
Their last attempt to help workers, the 1978 Humphrey Hawkins Act,
did little as Carter allowed for voluntary requirements.
Democrats replaced moderate Republicans.

Republicans Shift Off the Spectrum.
Republicans shifter far to the right, "off the spectrum."
AEI's T. Mann N. Ornstein described this new group as a radical insurgency.
They had abandoned parliamentary politics.

The Republican Party Civil War 2008-2016
Libertarians vs. Neocons
Evangelicals vs. Cultural Moderates
Big Spending Pragmatist vs. Small Government Purists

Trump Wins 2017-2020
Disputes over policies and principles replaced in voters mind by
 "Are You With Trump or Not."  All House members facing midterm elections could
Back Trump or Risk Being Humiliated, Ostracized and
Challenged by a Trump supporter in their primary.
Only 1/3 of the US Senate faced this issue.

Trump's Bedrock Beliefs

Globalization is irredeemably injurious to American Society.
Its unrestricted immigration, unlevel trade deals, and unchecked foreign cheating
have undermined American business and workers.
 The failure of both parties to advance relevant solutions
to check these systemic issues that plagued much of the electorate
was Trump's trump card because During the 21st Century, the Republican Party morphed from
1. fiscal Sanity to one of historic spending Increases
2. family values to one of grab them by the c ...
3. compassionate conservatism to banning all Muslim immagreans.

from Congressman Jeff Flake

20th Century Republican Party

1. Limited Government
2. Economic Freedom and Free Trade
3. Individual Responsibility

21st Century Republican Party

1. Nationalist
3 Anti Immigration

buy the book American Carnage


from Senator Bob Corker

1. "America is a force for Good in the World ..."
The post WW2 institutions have been "mostly very beneficial to the US and our citizens."
Trump does not believe this.

3. Free Trade has been an outstanding thing for the American people, our country and GDP.
"This president is a protectionist."

4. "Fiscal issues matter. He's not even close to being a fiscal conservative."

5. Domestic institutions that are fundamental to our Democracy
 are important because even though every institution needs oversight
and can be improved, they helped make America great . "Not him .."

 "American Carnage"  68 min video Buy the Book

  A Democratic Renaissance?

1. Party Fractioning
Republican Infighting may increase
as the old guard–business, national security and fiscal conservatives –  attempts to recapture their party from social conservatives.  Putting populist genie back into the  bottle will be anything but pastoral.
Leveraging the internal factional conflicts wracking both parties to trade up has intriguing possibilities.
a. First, the ignorant arrogance of the hard Left may prove their undoing. As the natural ruling party, Democrats  have encouraged litmus tests for candidates who must commit publicly to a lengthening list of ideologically liberal purist positions.  Such efforts usually end in disaster. In 2018 midterm elections, hard leftist Democrat candidates failed to flip a single Congressional seat. In the 2020 elections being pure nearly cost the Democrats the House, the Senate, and the Presidency.
b.  Ideological litmus tests has also been applied to voters.  In 2020, the woke Left loudly insisted that anyone not highly ranked in racial justice was racist. Telling 90+% of the American population that they are racist is a guaranteed way to lose support. Trump received a greater proportion of Black and Hispanic votes than any Republican in modern history. Gays once again sent roughly a quarter of their votes to Republican candidates.
c. Joe Biden is not an ideological purist and  has purged the Democratic Party of not just wokeness, but of the entire leftist wing of the party. He repudiated cherished leftist positions on the Green New Deal and packing the Supreme Court.

1. Got Barack Obama to denounce wokeness and cancel culture.
2. Replacing student debt forgiveness with a short-term debt payment moratorium to 9/1 when economic recovery    accelerates.
3. Nominated Janet Yellen and not Elizabeth Warren as Treasury Secretary.
4. Biden nominations are not radical. Few are inspired choices, but none are ideological crackpots



Political Parties After Trump

Republican Alliance Ends

Peter Zeihan on January 15, 2020  
summarized by (

Let's start with the bad, move on to the worse, and end with a likely post-Trump path that most of you are going to absolutely, positively loathe.

The bad: The Democratic coalition's failure to win the big elections is explainable, understandable, and not about to change.
Most recent Democratic generations feel that they should be the country's natural ruling party because their strategy has yielded considerably more registered Democrats than Republicans plus they are the party of the young and minorities. American demographics will steadily shift in that direction leading to ore and more Democratic Party members. The feeling hasn't worked out. The Republicans have captured the White House about one-third more often and Democrats and who haven’t held both houses of Congress for consecutive sessions since the early 1900s.

Party infighting.
Republican factions – national security, fiscal, business, and pro-life evangelicals – do not fundamentally object to the pet policy preferen of their allies  makes for a stable voting bloc. Democrats are constantly at one another's throats. Single mothers disagree with the youth vote on subsidizing college tuition. Greens and unions spar over industrial policy. Gays and Blacks define equal rights very differently. Taking a stance on most is guaranteed to alienate at least one faction and all but ensures that not all Democrats will vote.
A charismatic candidate who doesn't talk policy which would increase turnout is needed. It helps to have someone to run against like  Richard Nixon after Watergate, or George W Bush during the second phase of the Iraq War, or Donald Trump in the aftermath of the hell year of 2020. Yet in 2020 Democrats only won the popular vote 52:48 and they lost seats in the House of Representatives. If not for Trump's conspiracy-riddled period leading up to the Georgia run-off elections on January 6, the Republicans would have maintained control of the Senate..

The worse: Democrats are losing the numbers game and could soon be kept out of power.

Organized labor is unhappy for 3 reasons and no longer offer unquestioned support.
Globalization caused a lot of low and mid-skilled manufacturing capacity to decamped America.
This limited union success to old-school manufacturing and coal mining. But, they flourished  over a half century ago when most of the people with the "good" jobs were white males who invariably lost their jobs.

is complicated. Unionized workers haven't kept up with technology of the Digital Age.  New technologies like 3D-printing have enabled production to relocate quickly and easily outside of unionized areas. As a result, Tech has globalized its supply chains into many small pieces scattered across the world.
Free trade  allowed access to cheaper goods while allowing some American workforce to focus on big value-added stuff like product design. As a result, from 1985-2015, most Congressional Democrats joined with business-led Republicans in pushing trade deals through Congress. But,  too many blue-collar workers got unemployment and opiates addiction.

Most private-sector union workers engage in physically demanding work. As a rule, such occupations are filled with mostly white workers who have limited multicultural experiences and who are more grounded in traditional society of church and family. They tend in the general direction of social conservatism. The result is union members have been inching toward being Republican for about  the past two decades. Trump gave them a social conservative, anti-trade, anti-tech politician and they went in whole hog.





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