Chapter

Compassionate Conservatism, Domestic Policy, and the Politics of Ideational Change

Steven Teles

in Crisis of Conservatism?

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199764013
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897186 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199764013.003.0009
Compassionate Conservatism, Domestic Policy, and the Politics of Ideational Change

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The idea of compassionate conservatism was presented in the 2000 presidential campaign as a major innovation in Republican Party public philosophy. To the contrary, the idea was a rebranding of ideas that had been percolating among conservatives for over twenty years. Some version of compassionate conservatism continues to reemerge in Republican party politics for electoral reasons (the desire to reach out to women and racial minorities) and because of the attachment to the idea of the conservative policy apparatus. Experience shows, however, that support for the idea is thin, because of the absence of support among a powerful, mobilized party faction. Consequently, compassionate conservatism will be characterized by continual reemergence and subsequent disappointment.

Keywords: triangulation; empowerment; new paradigm; school choice; New Democrats; civil rights; vouchers; tuition tax credits; the Blob; Charter schools; Tea Party movement

Chapter.  15872 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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