The Party of No
By Arnold Kling
a new Washington Post poll also reveals deep dissatisfaction among GOP voters with the party’s leadership as well as ideological and generational differences that may prove big obstacles to the party’s plans for reclaiming power.
The way I read the poll, Republican voters say “no” to their own leadership and “double-no” to the Obama Administration. I would also count support for Sarah Palin as a “no” vote, at least with respect to insiders and elites.
Does this Party of No represent a threat or an opportunity? If you are a David Brooks trust-the-elite type, presumably it represents a threat. If you are a Lou Dobbs demagogue type, presumably it represents an opportunity.
I would call myself the highbrow version of the Party of No. I have a fear of the masses that would rival David Brooks’. But I have a fear of the elites that is even stronger. Book 2 explains why: among elites there is an even larger discrepancy between knowledge and power. The political elite has too much power relative to the dispersed knowledge in society.
The trick is to get both elites and masses to be less enchanted with elections and more committed to decentralization, or what I call competitive government. The Party of No feels some of the disenchantment. What I would like to see is a very large Party of No, influenced by folks who have read Book 2 on the virtues of decentralization and the mechanisms for moving in that direction.