Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cameron And The American Right.

Chris Matthews finds Rush Limbaugh hysterically funny whilst Andrew Sullivan's readers think David Cameron is showing the Republicans the way forward.

I think it's going to be really fascinating to see how Southern Conservatives respond to David Cameron. Southern Conservatives worship C.S. Lewis and Winston Churchill (I can say this because growing up in the South you have no idea how many conservative boomer age men I have heard quoting Lewis and Churchill to me). So how are they going to respond now when you have this conservative British Prime Minister who talks about fighting a war on poverty, who talks about his faith in God as going "in and out," who is comfortable with gay people, who is comfortable with evolution?

The American Right has to know that Cameron's way is the future of conservatism.
This cocoon they have constructed for themselves against the modern world cannot survive much longer. When we have Republican politicians in the South quoting David Cameron instead of Churchill, that is when we are going to have achieved real progress in this country.
I have long argued that there is almost no comparison between British Conservatives and American Republicans.

Cameron is arguing for liberal Conservatism because the Tory message preached by previous Conservative governments is now considered toxic over here. He certainly would never get away with putting forward the kind of nonsense regularly served up by Republicans:
There simply is no British equivalent to the Republican party, unless one reaches towards the BNP and other extremists. The Tories might sound like them on matters like tax cuts and deregulation, but when it comes to social policy they simply wouldn't dare make the arguments that are regularly made by the American right wing.

Any British politician who proposed
teaching creationism in schools would instantly be regarded as on the outer fringes of intelligent debate, but Bush argued for that very thing and was seen as playing to the base, rather than as someone who had blatantly lost his mind.

The notion that David Cameron could hope to get elected by opposing abortion is silly on it's face, and yet the Republicans put forward Sarah Palin as a candidate for Vice President precisely because
she held such views.
The main difference between both of our cultures is that religion isn't really involved in British politics, which was made clear by the fact that Tony Blair had to play down his religious beliefs, as shown when Alastair Campbell famously remarked, "We don't do God."

The Republicans on the other hand play shamelessly into the hands of Christian fundamentalists.

Cameron does not have to do this, which is why I think any lessons the Republicans might learn from Cameron would involve first having to divorce themselves from their strongest supporters.

And I don't see that happening any time soon.

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