Newsline

Elections , Newsline

Tories Show GOP How Not to Do It

Posted on Sunday, July 7, 2024
|
by David P. Deavel
|
31 Comments
|
Print

For American patriots, this July 4 was pretty good. It’s not just that the Media Democratic complex was melting down over the discovery that their lies about Joe Biden’s condition are no longer capable of being uttered with a straight face—and now they must pretend they just didn’t know. This has, admittedly, been delicious. But there were a great many positive signs that America’s tattered flag may yet have some life in it.

This writer was in a suburb of Portland, Oregon, for our Independence Day. Yes, I know all about the insanity of Portland proper. But though it was a hot day for the Pacific Northwest, the 4th of July Family Festival we attended in Happy Valley was filled with people wearing patriotic gear and enjoying patriotic songs. When our national anthem was sung, many people far across the park from the bandstand paused, stood, and faced the flag with hands over hearts.

Americans aren’t done just yet, I think. 

But if these good vibes are to last, we will need to have a better outcome to our elections than the British did across the pond on the same day we celebrated our independence from the Mother Country. After fourteen years of controlling the government, the Conservative Party, or Tories, were massacred in the Parliamentary elections. Labour, which is as bad as the Democrats are here, won a total of 411 seats, while the Tories won 131. The smaller and not-as-left Liberal Democrats won 71 seats, while various other leftish parties such as the SNP (Scottish National Party) and Greens won seats here and there.    

What happened to the Tories? The short answer is that, to channel Barry Goldwater, they offered an echo, not a choice. They were not really defeated by the Labour Party, which only captured about 35% of the votes; they were defeated by themselves. As British polling expert Sir John Curtice explained, “the party’s share of the vote is the lowest won by a post-war single party government.” It was lower than any of Tony Blair’s three victories and five percent lower than Jeremy Corbyn’s 2017 Labour victory. While Labour gained 17 points in Scotland (at the expense of the SNP), its percentage of the vote in Wales dropped four percent and gained only a half-percent in England.

Where did those Tory votes go? Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party gained a mere five seats, including Farage himself, but they played a decisive role in knocking out a lot of Conservative parliamentary candidates—including the fairly conservative sitting member Jacob Rees-Mogg. Because of fairly strategic voting on the left, the Liberal Democrats gained 60 seats. Curtice explains that “support for Reform rose more sharply, by 16 points, in seats that the Conservatives were defending—twice as much as in seats Labour were defending.”  

The most optimistic of predictions had Reform winning fewer than twenty seats. Why would so many people vote for Reform and against Conservatives? Especially when the former had no chance of getting close? The short answer is that the Tories’ notion of conservatism in 2024 matched their own countryman G. K. Chesterton’s gibe from 1924: “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition.”

Indeed, as John O’Sullivan observed in a review of a book on British politics by British political scientist Matthew Goodwin, “since 2010 the two major parties have found agreement on the progressive side of such issues as zeroing out greenhouse gases (Net Zero), the COVID lockdown, and (for some) Brexit.” “That alone,” O’Sullivan added, months before the elections, “explains the Tories’ internal collapse and the unusual phenomenon of a mass movement of hitherto Tory voters expressing disgust toward their old party and a wish for its defeat and even disappearance.”

Former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron might be said to bear special blame for this growing disgust and wishes for destruction among the Tory constituency. His embrace, however lukewarm, of the climate change lobby, his spearheading the push for so-called same-sex marriage, and his opposition to Brexit all signaled that the Conservatives had left behind their constituency. His Conservative successors followed in his not-so-conservative path.

While Republicans in the United States are not in the same position as the ruling Tories were, our elections will be shaped by some of the same forces that went into Britain’s elections. O’Sullivan’s review includes four changes to British life described by Goodwin that are shaping the political future in ways that are somewhat unpredictable but must be addressed: “an economic policy of ‘hyper-globalization’ that has deindustrialized Britain and left working-class voters behind other prospering classes; mass immigration that has changed the country deeply without a democratic mandate; the U.K.’s participation in the process of European integration that has made government more remote from the electorate; and the rise of a ‘new, more insular, careerist and homogenous political class in Westminster.’”

Three out of the four are directly applicable to American political life. Hyper-globalization and industrial decline, mass immigration without a democratic mandate, and an insular, careerist laptop class are exactly what we suffer from on this side of the pond. And though Americans are not part of European integration, our own Byzantine administrative state certainly makes American government more remote. The acknowledgment that Joe Biden actually has been suffering from decline brings to the fore the reality that our supposedly elected figures don’t really hold the reins of government in the way they ought.

There is no equivalent of the Reform Party to spoil the fortunes of the GOP; disaffected conservatives will more likely stay home. But a successful November for Republicans will depend on a party that understands that they have to stay close to their own voters and to the Americans who might well vote for them. The Tories showed the GOP how not to do it. Now, Republicans must show they understand how our economy affects working-class people, how mass immigration (especially illegal immigration) makes us insecure and at odds with each other, and how the government cannot simply reflect the insular beliefs of nor be responsible only to the laptop class.

Those star-spangled festival goers around the country are not all Republicans. Nor are they all Democrats. Many of them have, if the flags and bumper stickers are any indication, decided to vote for Donald Trump. A lot of them are likely waiting to see if there is anybody else to vote for. Emphasizing how destructive Bidenomics and the radical social policies being pushed by this administration are might well depress the Democratic votes. But conservatives here need to give Americans a reason to think a vote for us is a vote for a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”


David P. Deavel teaches at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. A past Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute, he is a Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. Follow him on X @davidpdeavel.  

Share this article:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
31 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
PaulE
PaulE
6 days ago

Just a little clarification from having been to the UK for business back and forth over the decades. So, I got to see how things were really being governed and talk to a lot of people who live there. The Tories in the U.K. are NOT what most Americans would consider an equivalent of either true conservatives or small government types here. They are in practice much more like the McConnell / Romney types here in terms of talking about “conservative or constitutional values” during re-election campaigns, while actually voting quite a bit in lockstep with our Democrat Party over here on major transformational spending and agenda issues. Thatcher was realistically the last real conservative leader, pushing conservative policies, of the Torie Party that the UK had. Since then, the Party has drifted steadily more leftward towards being what we would call “Democrat-lite” or RINO in terms policies they actually supported and governed by.

The Tories finally lost their control of Parliament to the Labour Party, which is essentially the UK’s Socialist Party. The Labour Party would be like the Bernie Sanders / Elizabeth Warren / AOC types here. That’s the perspective that most Americans would understand to understand policy stances.

The Tories have talked a good game for well over a decade now, but they have almost consistently governed much more like old school, moderate Democrats over here from the late 50s to early 60s (pre-LBJ era) than a party trying to emulate anything approaching real conservative values of Thatcher or Reagan. That is of course NOT what the people of UK wanted or were promised by the Tories for years and years now. Thus, the Reform Party finally garnered a lot of support this time around, as people in the UK have finally had enough of the empty promises of the Tories. Kind of like the disappointment most Republicans experienced over here from when G.H.W. Bush took over after Reagan and then proceeded to adopt a globalist, NWO perspective leading ultimately to Clinton and the Democrats making a resurgence in the early 1990s.

Anyway, I thought this would help provide a more accurate description between Torie and Labour Parties stances on issues. No real comparison to our political parties here, except the Democrat Party here is almost as left leaning as the Labour Party in the UK in terms of major policy objectives.

Barry Obummer, Kenyan By Birth
Barry Obummer, Kenyan By Birth
6 days ago

MAGA
Again
TRUMP 2024

Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
6 days ago

This article has some value David, the last sentence is very good — about what Conservatives need to do . You made some interesting comparisons with what goes on here and what is being done in Great Britain , however there are some things that should be kept in mind that need to be watched closely and they should be thought of. whenever the election is the topic — one is the situation with communist China and how business with communist China should spark memory of how there were American businesses doing business with Germany and Japan in 1941 — right up to the Pearl Harbor attack. So, doing business with Communist China should not send any signals to anyone that everything is o.k.,normal , or suggests reasons not to have concern about the stability of that part of the world. And the criminal gangs , illegal aliens situation — southern border invasion — the United States of America does not need barbarians entering the Country and doing things that are a threat to civilization. So, considering things that are being done in other countries can be useful, it all depends on what the circumstances are , what should be given priority at any particular time.

anna hubert
anna hubert
5 days ago

I think all the common sense level headed self reliant people know how not to do it It is the others in charge who don’t have a clue but think they do and want to change the country supposedly for better Those who vote for them are hopeless not knowing that there is no free lunch and no they are not entitled to it

Ed G
Ed G
6 days ago

Well said, my friend.

Ronald H
Ronald H
5 days ago

I am a senior and want to enjoy my retirement. I’m more and more disappointed in seniors who work well past their prime and become less and less productive which is a drain on the budgets of companies and keeps the door shut on the next generation from advancing. Biden is 81 and should have retired years ago for health reasons. We won’t get into his awful policies here. Trump is 78 and it’s time for him to pass the torch on the next generation, but he is refusing. He’s going the same path as Biden except for the awful policies. I am so disappointed in the only Trump people. There are so many conservatives who would make great presidents but all are stuck waiting for Trump. It’s time to give the next generation their turn.

Ronald H
Ronald H
5 days ago

Nikki Haley was a great candidate who could have carried the GOP in the future but too many of you are stuck on Trump and claim only Trump can solve the countries problems and threw Haley and every other candidate under the bus. Biden is well well past his prime but Trump is only a few years behind him and Trump. It is time for the next generation of candidates.

RDPence
RDPence
6 days ago

The options facing US voters in November are awful. I’ve never voted (knowingly) for a convicted felon, and can’t bring myself to do that now. House Republicans demonstrate daily they cannot govern, and appear to have no interest even trying. My good Republican grandfather would be horrified at his Party today!

Secret Service agents rush Donald Trump off the stage.(AP: Evan Vucci)
President Joe Biden greets President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at the Filoli Estate in Woodside, California.(Official White House Photo by Carlos Fyfe)
President Joe Biden speaks on the phone with Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to discuss his approval of a FEMA disaster declaration in response to the impacts of Hurricane Beryl, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Stay informed! Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter.

"*" indicates required fields

31
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Subscribe to AMAC Daily News and Games