This I believe

Professor James Ceaser of the University of Virginia is one of the most trenchant of the folks who teach in university political science departments. In tomorrow’s Washington Post Book World, Professor Ceaser has a great review of a new history of the Republican Party by Lewis Gould, Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans. Professor Ceaser clearly likes the book, although he necessarily discounts the book’s shaky version of recent history to render his judgment. The review is “Right turns.”
Professor Ceaser explores the question of whether there is any ideological continuity in the history of the party. Here’s the answer: “Despite all their shifts, Republicans have shown an abiding commitment to four principles. First, the GOP has been the party of the idea of the nation, stressing this theme at its origins even when half the country denied it. Republicans have retained this pride in the nation, and it has always marked their brand of internationalism, so clearly on display today. Second, Republicans have placed great reliance on the ‘rising’ individual and the self-made man. The horror of Republicans is for the wealth and property of society to be thought of as being owned collectively, to be distributed on the basis of ‘social justice.’ Third, the party has always been concerned with maintaining traditional standards of morality. From its early opposition to polygamy (coupled with slavery in the 1856 platform as one of ‘the twin relics of barbarism’), to the ‘just say “no” to drugs’ campaign, the party has stressed the connection between moral restraints and ordered liberty. Finally, the Republican Party has adhered to ‘Nature and Nature’s God’ as the transcendent source of truth. It has asserted this position in opposition to those who claim that standards derive only from evolving conceptions of morality, or from the social construction of values, or from humanitarian norms temporarily affirmed by bodies of international lawyers. A recourse to natural right was the first principle of Abraham Lincoln, just as it is the first principle of George W. Bush.”


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