The once and future conventional wisdom
How to restore common sense to the political culture

Reuters

People with disabilities rally at the Capitol Building in Washington, September 21, 2011. The group called for congress to avoid cutting Medicaid funding as they look for cuts to the federal budget.

Article Highlights

  • Conservatives are deeply frustrated at the 2012 election’s outcome, after years of work and investment.

    Tweet This

  • President Obama won reelection because his philosophy is in tune with what has become the conventional wisdom.

    Tweet This

  • Refuting the new conventional wisdom is the challenge we face today. @ArthurCBrooks

    Tweet This

The once and future conventional wisdom

Download PDF
Conservatives are deeply frustrated at the 2012 election’s outcome, after years of work and investment. Some blame the candidate, or the conduct of the campaign; others focus on demographics.

But these explanations are unsatisfactory. President Obama won reelection because his message of resentment against the rich for failing to pay their “fair share” resonated with millions of people of all backgrounds. They were unoffended by the administration’s wholesale embrace of an unreconstructed entitlement state, and they endorsed the idea that government can and should sort out our economic woes.

In short, President Obama won because his philosophy is in tune with what has become the conventional wisdom. Refuting that conventional wisdom is the challenge we face today, and understanding this challenge is the first step in forming a plan for renewal — a plan that does not rely on winning a series of elections or Supreme Court cases, but rather focuses on the establishment, over the coming decade, of a new popular consensus based on the ideas of our Founders, common sense, sound economics, and basic decency.

The full text of this article is available by subscription to National Review.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Arthur C.
Brooks

What's new on AEI

Holder will regret his refusal to obey the Constitution
image 'Flood Wall Street' climate protesters take aim at their corporate allies
image 3 opportunities for better US-India defense ties
image Is Nicolás Maduro Latin America's new man at the United Nations?
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 29
    MON
  • 30
    TUE
  • 01
    WED
  • 02
    THU
  • 03
    FRI
Thursday, October 02, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Campbell Brown talks teacher tenure

We welcome you to join us as Brown shares her perspective on the role of the courts in seeking educational justice and advocating for continued reform.

Event Registration is Closed
Friday, October 03, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Harnessing the power of markets to tackle global poverty: A conversation with Jacqueline Novogratz

AEI welcomes you to this Philanthropic Freedom Project event, in which Novogratz will describe her work investing in early-stage enterprises, what she has learned at the helm of Acumen, and the role entrepreneurship can play in the fight against global poverty.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.