Companion opinion pieces on Al Jazeera’s English website (Clearly a Tool of the Devil™). Warning: these are rather long and boring.
To retain relevance in the 21st century, liberals in the US will need to revitalise their ideology.…Neither contemporary conservatism nor contemporary liberalism offers a credible path to the kind of economic dynamism and shared prosperity that characterised what has been called the “American Century”. For Americans of all political persuasions, the fundamental question that US politics must address in the coming decades is: How shall we continue to prosper when the basis for our economic renewal is unclear, our willingness to make shared investments in our collective future is waning, and our place in a post-American world is uncertain?
US Conservatives must reform their internal ideology in order to create a coherent effort to revitalise the party
For those willing to probe a bit deeper, however, it should quickly become apparent that we badly need to take stock of our position. Conservatism, despite these impressive electoral victories, is failing on its own terms. Start with the social indicators, which are the most important to conservatives. The US’ fast-growing and largely minority underclass shows limited signs of progress or assimilation to middle-class American life. And the white middle class – the bed-rock of conservatism’s political strength and social vision – is showing signs of social stagnation and economic regress that should be sounding ominous claxons in conservative meeting halls but, so far, have attracted only the attention of Charles Murray. Stagnant income growth and mobility and a shrinking middle class are considered unhealthy by most conservative understandings of social health, cohesion and well-being. While conservatives have plenty of macro ideas for increasing economic growth, they have fewer ideas about how to secure a wider distribution of new wealth.
Both sides seem to be enjoying the fight too much to listen to such radical voices. Implicit warning to the US: The rest of the world is worried about you.