Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Old and the New Republicans

Back in my youth the lines of division in the Republican party ran between Bob Taft and Dwight Eisenhower.  Roughly speaking the former was more isolationist/nationalist/anti-communist/anti New Dealer and the latter was more international, more free trade, more open to talks with the USSR, and more willing to swallow hard and keep Social Security. In 1960 Nelson Rockefeller represented the latter (the Wall Street Republicans) and Richard Nixon the former (the Main Street Republicans). The Goldwater movement put the former on top, for a while, while Nixon in 1968 merged the two pretty well. Reagan also blurred the lines by the way he governed.

Jumping ahead to now, it's fascinating to look at the divisions Trumpery is creating.  George Will and Charles Krauthammer are anti-Trump, though Krauthammer's last column acknowledged possible benefits in foreign policy from a good-cop, bad-cop approach.  Some economists, like Don Beaudreaux of GMU at Cafe Hayek and Keith Hennessey, former CEA member, are somewhat horrified by Trump's trade and economic thoughts/tweets.

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