OCPA in the Journal Record: William Rusher's words still ring true

December 20, 2012

Writing in The Journal Record, OCPA Milton Friedman Distinguished Fellow Andy Spiropoulos pays tribute to a key insight of William Rusher, the longtime publisher of National Review and one of the most important American political activists of the twentieth century. Whatever the differences in their private lives, Rusher suggested, social and economic conservatives have every incentive to align politically. That remains true today, argues Spiropoulos:

Rusher believed that economic conservatives, particularly the “country-club” establishment, deserved most of the blame for the lack of unity. The failure of economically successful elites to devise policies harnessing the power of markets to improve the lives of the struggling middle and working classes, as well as innate social snobbery, turned off populist conservatives. This led the populist conservatives either to vote against their own true interests or stay home on Election Day. ...

Little has changed in our politics. ...

Our well-heeled establishment must shake off its selfish and insular complacency. It must confront the reality that our bloated, dysfunctional government does not advance and, in fact, inhibits economic and social mobility. More populist conservatives, on the other hand, must moderate some of their polarizing rhetoric and positions in order to foster the harmony necessary for political victory. Both sides may not choose to see each other socially, but, if they want to preserve their way of life, they better learn to get it together in the workplace.

To read the full op-ed, please click here.