Thursday, December 23, 2021

The Crisis of the Global Center-Right

I write a lot about the problems of the left because, well, they're my team and I want them to do better. But the right has its problems too--big problems. One of the most astute observers of the right and its problems is Henry Olsen and he has a a terrific column in the Post on the how poorly the center-right is doing across countries. Fascinating.
"Many anti-Trump Republicans long for the day when they can retake their party and expel the populist deviations from orthodoxy that vex them so. Evidence from around the world shows this is a pipe dream.
The same fissures in the old conservative coalition that plague the GOP appear in virtually every other modern democracy. Nationalist and populist parties have grown dramatically in the past decade, often gaining near parity with incumbent center-right parties. Urban and suburban moderate voters, meanwhile, have often swung to classically liberal or green parties that are comfortable aligning with left-wing governments.
We can see this clearly in European polls and recent election results. Scandinavian polls show national populist parties obtaining between 11 and 19 percent of the vote. EKRE, Estonia’s populist incarnation, now leads that nation’s polls with 22 percent, while the Flemish separatist and anti-immigrant Vlaams Belang leads Belgian surveys. National populist parties in Austria and Spain are polling in the high-teens, and a trio of nationalist parties garnered nearly a quarter of Dutch voters in recent surveys. No center-right coalition can emerge without these parties’ involvement.
Center-right parties that reject that option must invariably form governments with centrists or even their traditional center-left opponents. The incoming four-party Dutch government will include Democrats 66, a center-left party. This means the new coalition agreement includes substantial spending increases for education and climate change, leading ING bank to declare it was “a farewell to Dutch frugality.” Austria’s conservatives govern with the Greens, resulting in a budget with tax cuts for business and working-class voters balanced by increases in carbon taxes to battle climate change. These parties, like many in the moderate and business wings of the GOP, would prefer to swing to the center economically rather than swing right on cultural issues to placate populists...
The global evidence makes it clear that 1980s-era Reagan-Thatcher conservative politics is a dead letter. Coalitions built on that formula — free markets, globally minded, strong on defense — no longer win majorities. The new conservative winning formula is extremely hard to pull off, as one must simultaneously satisfy the still significant Reaganite element while winning over nationalist populists and moderate suburbanites. Having incompetent opponents who veer too far to the left, such as Britain’s Jeremy Corbyn, help bring these disparate groups together out of fear. But no center-right figure has yet built such a coalition on positive grounds that has survived the stress of actually governing.
Republican strategists ought to read the tea leaves now and work toward building that durable coalition. The longer they ignore reality, the less likely they will win in 2024 and beyond."
The left that had its act together would be able to take advantage of these problems on the right. Unfortunately at this point today's left doesn't seem be that left but instead one intent on continued Brahminizaton and under-achivement.

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