GNP Nostalgia

Sorry I’ve been AWOL, guys. I’m working on some exciting new projects at The Atlantic, so I’m going to scale things back here. Fortunately, TAS has some of America’s best, smartest, most delightful bloggers to keep you entertained.

Mike Riggs wrote a short squib about Grand New Party for the Washington City Paper, and I think it’s very smart.

Grand New Party, Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam’s proposed blueprint for retooling the GOP, is eloquent, comprehensive, and less condescending toward the working class than Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas? Their prescription for “restoring the American Dream” reads like smart economics, albeit coupled with batty social expectations: Reform the medical system but reject globalization, they argue, and get the government off the backs of “traditional families” and then use it to beat back cultural liberalism. Instead of looking forward, it pines for a society where all mothers are married, all men vote Republican, all children are enrolled in Catholic schools, and everyone speaks English. In other words, here’s a perfect argument-starter just before an election.

I wouldn’t say we reject globalization — quite the opposite — but we certainly take stock of its uneven impact, and overall I think Riggs does a good job of divining the nature of the GNP utopia.