For the foreseeable future, with the election and its acrimony behind us (at least for the most part), I plan to pay some closer attention to the good conservative thinkers and commentators with whom I’ve had only a passing acquaintance in the past.
This week, I read New York Times columnist Ross Douthat’s post-election take and found it quite refreshing and insightful. I think his conclusions are largely correct, though I wish he had found more neutral language to describe the two parties’ primary constituencies.
I think it is vital to the future of America that we retain two viable political parties. My home state of California is about to demonstrate to the nation what happens with a nearly 100% Democratic monopoly on the levers of governance and I don’t expect the picture to be as pretty as many of my Democratic friends believe. Great ideas may flow from a group of like-minded individuals sharing control but practical ideas that will appeal to and meet the needs of most voters can only come from bipartisanship.
Douthat is the first conservative commentator I’ve read who has suggested that the Republican Party has a lot of fundamental work, not just on a few policy tweaks but on many broad issues including economic and tax policy, before it if it wishes to become a party capable of winning again.