Fusion or fissures: The future of a conservative governing coalition

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Event Summary

Barack Obama's re-election has led many conservatives to ponder the Republican Party's future — where should conservatism and the GOP go from here? On Friday, an all-star panel gathered to discuss this topic in the first of a series of events examining majority conservatism. Ben Domenech of the Heartland Institute began by reminding the audience that "ideas don’t run for president, people do." Consequently, said Domenech, a revival of conservative populism would be beneficial, since Americans feel that the corporate and governmental spheres are rigged against them. 

Henry Olsen of AEI examined conservatism through the lenses of demographics and voter turnout, noting that the Romney campaign did not do enough to appeal to blue-collar whites this year, whose turnout was down from four years ago. Former US congressman Artur Davis then addressed specific issues on which the GOP has diverged from conservative principles of late, such as immigration. The GOP's current position on immigration is not conservative, Davis maintained, because it does not seek to consolidate families. Reihan Salam of Economics 21 and National Review then made the case that the Republican Party needs a lower-middle-class reformism that puts people before ideas, as this would resonate best with potential voters.
--Jennifer Marsico

Event Description

Ronald Reagan once said conservatism was like a three-legged stool, combining economic, foreign policy, and social conservatives. But with the rise of the tea party and libertarian elements in the Republican Party, does this stool still exist?

To attract voters in changing times, some politicians and political analysts say that the Republican Party should put less emphasis on social issues. But others say that Republicans have lost recent national and statewide contests because they have not stuck to a set of conservative principles. Can the Republican Party fuse these differing views? A panel of opinion leaders will discuss the future of American conservatism.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

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About the Author

 

Karlyn
Bowman

 

Henry
Olsen
  • Henry Olsen, a lawyer by training, is the director of AEI's National Research Initiative. In that capacity, he identifies leading academics and public intellectuals who work in an aspect of domestic public policy and recruits them to visit or write for AEI. Mr. Olsen studies and writes about the policy and political implications of long-term trends in social, economic, and political thought.

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