We seek to identify the people and ideas that will lead the Republican Party back out of the wilderness. Topics include core conservatism, potential national leaders, constituencies that that the GOP must reach and the messages that will reach them.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Samuel Huntington, R.I.P.

There are two articles worth reading today, by Faoud Ajami and Jonah Goldberg, on the death of political scientist Samuel Huntington. Attacked as a nativist mossback by people who probably didn't read him, Huntington was a profound realist. His central insight is that culture trumps economics as a source both of national identity and world conflict. Culture includes religion and everything else that forms a nation's deepest sense of self. His thesis is being proven today, for the umpteenth time, in Gaza. Our trials in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the disaster that grew out of Palestinian elections, confirm his skepticism about American ambitions to remake the world in its own democratic image. Huntington believed in an America something like the City on a Hill cited by Ronald Reagan -- a country true to its cultural roots and political traditions, serving as a beacon to the world. Republicans could do worse than return to that idea as a core tenet of their foreign and domestic policy.

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