[ACX Linkpost] A Modest Proposal for Republicans

by mike_hawke1 min read30th Apr 20213 comments


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I like reading through LW comments more than Substack comments, hence linkpost.

Politics is indeed the mindkiller and/or hard mode, but this post is the most novel and thought-provoking political writing I've seen all year and I can't stop thinking about it.

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When I first read the post, about 50% of my reaction was, "this platform could never get traction with a major political party". But is that true? (...also, is it too meta?)

Scott writes in the piece,

There's a theory that the US party system realigns every 50-or-so years. Last time, in 1965, it switched from the Democrats being the party of the South and the Republicans being the party for blacks, to vice versa. If the theory's right, we're in the middle of an equally big switch. Wouldn't it be great if the Republicans became the racially diverse party of the working class? You can make it happen!

So I guess that's my biggest question about all this. Is the realignment theory correct? And more importantly, would a 1960s-magnitude realignment be enough to cause a major US political party to adopt a prominently anti-credentialist, pro-betting, anti-gatekeeping platform?

I think you may be doing yourself a disservice if you haven't read the Substack comments in this case; not because the arguments are good, exactly, but because of what they imply about the kind of equivocation that takes place in our society, and the reasons for it.

Summarizing the comment dynamic which I personally found illuminating: A number of Republican-oriented commenters arguing Republicans are already doing this, have already being doing this for years; a number of Republican-oriented commenters arguing this is antithetical to all of their beliefs and Scott Alexander only suggests this because he doesn't understand Republicans at all; Democrat-oriented commenters saying that they'd be a lot more receptive to Republicans if they did this, and other Democrat-oriented commenters saying that this would undermine any credibility the Republicans have left.

Those comments sound like an argument for moving to a system that doesn't have to have only two parties.