Left and Right

The intellectual right contemplates an ‘American Caesar’

While totalitarian humanism is now in power, we also need to be mindful of authoritarian tendencies that oppose the dominant paradigm, whether from the left or right, and could potentially emerge as competitive challengers. I do not regard the “revolutionary Caesarism” that Curtis Yarvin is advocating as the primary threat from the right at this point. I would consider Trumpism itself to be more threatening than Yarvinism for the time being, but I would consider “neocon revanchism” (led by a figure like Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ron DeSantis, etc) to be even more potentially threatening than Trumpism. Various authoritarian tendencies are growing from the left as well.

By Damon Linker, The Week

How does ideological change happen? Why do certain political ideas and possibilities that appear outrageous and even unthinkable at one moment in history come to be considered options worth taking seriously? What causes the Overton window to shift dramatically in one direction or another?

The answer has something to do with the dynamics of partisan coalitions. To cite a fairly anodyne example, Ronald Reagan took over the Republican Party in 1980 by expanding the GOP’s appeal to the right as well as to the center-left. Those who supported Gerald Ford in 1976 were joined by conservative activists who had passionately favored Barry Goldwater in 1964, right-wing populists in the South and Midwest who had cast ballots for George Wallace in 1968, and the more moderate voters across the country who came to be called “Reagan Democrats.” The result was broad-based support for deep tax cuts, sharply increased defense spending, and amped up confrontation with the Soviet Union — a synthesis of positions that seemed to be a non-starter just a few years earlier but which, thanks to Reagan’s political skills and their intersection with contingent changes in political culture, became a stable ideological and electoral configuration of the GOP for the next 36 years.

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