Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Right Nation Again?

There remains a lot of excitement amongst British conservatives over the Tea Party victories in America, and the house journal of the right, the Spectator, has no less than three admiring articles on the subject in this week's edition. Most prominent amongst them is Andrew Neill's turning of an extra buck by translating his BBC programme into a second salary piece about the 'New Republicans'. He suggests that America has returned to the embrace of the right, but he may be as premature in that assertion as other commentators were two years ago when they spoke then of the dawn of a new liberalism heralded by Obama's historic victory.

The American electorate is as fickle as any other, and veers from liberalism to conservatism on a regular basis. The liberal Woodrow Wilson was succeeded by a forgettable trio of small government Republicans who were caught short by the Wall Street Crash and gave way in turn to the uber-liberal Franklin D Roosevelt. In the 60s, the liberal Johnson was succeeded by the rather less liberal Nixon, while the illiberal Reagan-Bush years were followed by the would-be liberal Clinton. Two years does admittedly seem a rather short outing for the most recent liberal incursion of Barack Obama, but it isn't over yet. American voters have simply shown that they like voting against their government, and they don't like unemployment. More than that, it's impossible to say.

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