Angelo Codevilla has a typically interesting and provocative piece in Forbes on America’s ruling class. Codevilla first discussed America’s ruling class in an important essay in The American Spectator in 2010. The newness of the argument in his Forbes article is the emphasis on the failure of mainstream or Rockefeller Republicans to represent their largest constituencies:
For generations, the Republican Party had presented itself as the political vehicle for Americans whose opposition to ever-bigger government financed by ever-higher taxes makes them a “country class.” Yet modern Republican leaders, with the exception of the Reagan Administration, have been partners in the expansion of government, indeed in the growth of a government-based “ruling class.” They have relished that role despite their voters. Thus these leaders gradually solidified their choice to no longer represent what had been their constituency, but to openly adopt the identity of junior partners in that ruling class. By repeatedly passing bills that contradict the identity of Republican voters and of the majority of Republican elected representatives, the Republican leadership has made political orphans of millions of Americans. In short, at the outset of 2013 a substantial portion of America finds itself un-represented, while Republican leaders increasingly represent only themselves.
The Republicans of 2013 would do well to look at the Whigs of 1850.
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