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February 26, 2013
The Ruling Party and the Country Party, Part 2
In the summer of 2010, Angelo Codevilla's seminal essay on the separation of Americans into a Ruling Party and a Country Party set the tone for the November 2010 Republican landslide.
Professor Codevilla's new sequel, at Forbes.com, makes the case that the Republican establishment has joined the ruling party rather than represent the country class, leaving the country class without representation and setting the stage for a breakaway new party.
In Codevilla's view, the incorporation of the Republican establishment into the ruling party leaves dissidents free to "pursue their own vision and with a monopoly of opposition." [emphasis in original]
The fact that a majority of Americans think we are on the wrong track, and that a majority of Americans view the government as a "threat to their welfare and liberties," indicates a broad opposition that is underrepresented at best by the establishment Republican Party:
In 1776 America's country class responded to lack of representation by uniting under the concept: "all men are created equal." In our time, its disparate sectors' common sentiment is more like: "who the hell do they think they are?"
...Thus by the turn of the twenty first century America had a bona fide ruling class that transcends government and sees itself at once as distinct from the rest of society -- and as the only element thereof that may act on its behalf. [emphasis in original] It rules -- to New York Times columnist David Brooks' characterization of Barack Obama -- as a visitor from a morally superior civilization."
...While the ruling class is well represented by the Democratic Party, the country class is not represented politically - by the Republican Party or by any other. Well or badly, its demand for representation will be met...
Mr. Codevilla compares today's Republican establishment with the 1850s Whig Party, which was replaced with the newly founded Republican Party. Today's Republican House and some senators, whether called Tea Party or otherwise, are "the natural core of a new Party," in Codevilla's view, because they are representing those abandoned by the Republican leadership.
This representation is happening by default... In short, the internet helps undermine the ruling class' near-homogenization of American intellectual life, its closing of the American mind...
...No surprise then that more and more of Republican elected officials seem to think less like their leaders and more like their voters.
Which is exactly how Obama and the rest of the ruling class would like to keep it.
A new party is likely to arise because the public holds both Republicans and Democrats responsible for the nation's unsustainable course... One half of the population cannot continue passively to absorb insults without pushing back. When -- sooner rather than later -- events collapse this house of cards, it will be hard to credibly advocate a better future while bearing a label that advertises responsibility for the present.
Mr. Codevilla observes that the disparate groups opposing the ruling class on various issues, from fiscal to firearms, from religion to regulation, represent their "adherents" because they actually stand for something, but that the country class as a whole is fragmented.
There will be no alternative to all the country class' various components acting jointly on measures dear to each.
Each of these elements should have learned that none can hope for indulgence from any part of the ruling class. They can look only to others who are under attack as they themselves are.
Or, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, "we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor."
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