domingo, 17 de febrero de 2008

Ortodoxia o flexibilidad

Un dilema para los republicanos. Os recomiendo un interesante artículo escrito por Fareed Zakaria, uno de los más lúcidos analistas de la política internacional, en el Newsweek. El autor pone en entredicho la opinión dominante dentro del Partido Republicano, según la cual, la causa de sus recientes problemas estaría en el alejamiento de los principios originales del movimiento constitutivo de la "Reagan Revolution". Zakaria difiere de ese punto de vista y advierte sobre algo que ya hablamos en este blog. De la misma manera que en los años 70 y 80, los políticos demócratas -ejemplo Walter Mondale en 1984- seguían ofreciendo soluciones del pasado a problemas del futuro, los políticos republicanos corren el riesgo de ofrecer a los problemas de hoy soluciones que eran revolucionarias hace treinta años. El estancamiento en esa ortodoxia conservadora que dominó con éxito el debate político en las últimas tres décadas, podría asemejarse a la profunda crisis de identidad que provocó en el Partido Demócrata la incapacidad de alejarse de la nostalgia de los gloriosos días del New Deal.

La ortodoxia conservadora como respuesta simple a problemas complejos, componía hace tres décadas un mensaje revolucionario de innovación e indudable atractivo para consumo de una clase media asfixiada por las cargas de los grandes programas sociales del Gobierno que siempre beneficiaban a otros. Al igual que los demócratas de Roosevelt ofrecieron recetas novedosas ante la crisis de los años 30, en los años 70 una vanguardia de republicanos comenzó a ofrecer una respuesta dinámica a una mayoría demócrata que se negaba a abandonar las fracasadas fórmulas del pasado. Pero esas respuestas ya no suponen una alternativa novedosa para los nuevos problemas que han surgido precisamente como consecuencia del éxito de esas políticas conservadoras. El ciudadano estadounidense ya no siente la carga fiscal de hace treinta años, y su escala de prioridades se modifica. The End of Conservatism

(...) David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter, begs to differ. "On the contrary," Frum writes in his smart new book, "Comeback," "the evidence suggests that a more consistent, more principled, more conservative administration would have been even more soundly rejected by the public than the unpopular Bush administration ever was." As Frum documents, every Bush policy that conservatives decry is in fact wildly popular. Public support for prescription-drug benefits ranges from 80 to 90 percent. And every Bush policy conservatives favor is regarded by the public with great suspicion.

A majority of Americans regard the Bush tax cuts as "not worth it," and would prefer increased spending or balancing the budget to cutting taxes. In the one area where Bush remains unfailingly popular with conservatives—foreign policy—public support has also collapsed. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans who believe that military force can reduce the risk of terrorism dropped sharply between 2002 and 2006, from 48 percent to 32 percent.

Conservatism grew powerful in the 1970s and 1980s because it proposed solutions appropriate to the problems of the age—a time when socialism was still a serious economic idea, when marginal tax rates reached 70 percent, and when the government regulated the price of oil and natural gas, interest rates on checking accounts and the number of television channels. The culture seemed under attack by a radical fringe. It was an age of stagflation and crime at home, as well as defeat and retreat abroad. Into this landscape came Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, bearing a set of ideas about how to fix the world. Over the next three decades, most of their policies were tried. Many worked. Others didn't, but in any event, time passed and the world changed profoundly.

Today, as Frum writes, "after three decades of tax cutting, most Americans no longer pay very much income tax." Inflation has been tamed, the economy does not seem overregulated to most, and crime is not at the forefront of people's consciousness. The culture has proved robust, and has in fact been enriched and broadened by its diversity. Abroad, the cold war is won and America sits atop an increasingly capitalist world. Whatever our problems, an even bigger military and more unilateralism are not seen as the solution. (...)

1 comentario:

Cormac Milius dijo...

Completamente de acuerdo, ya hablamos de esto hace meses.