These three simplistic conservative beliefs are accepted by virtually all Republicans and, unfortunately, by many Democrats.By John Ehrenreich
For there to be any possibility of a progressive resurgence, we have to confront the conservative narrative and address the question of why so many Americans buy in to it. George W. Bush famously told then-Senator Joseph Biden, “I don’t do nuance.” The right has been very successful at reducing complex issues to simple slogans. The examples are many: the “Contract with America,” the “Right to Work,” the “Right to Life,” “death panels,” “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns,” “weapons of mass destruction.” Complexity is a confusing issue to the Left. We are caught between wanting to imitate the Right, with its catchy phrases, and a respect for the much more complex truth.
Three sets of simplistic conservative belief stand out, accepted by virtually all Republicans and, unfortunately, by many Democrats. First: “We can’t.” The most pressing problem in the United States and the key to most of its problems, say conservatives, is our unbalanced budget and the resultant overwhelmingly large national debt. Raising taxes to deal with it is unthinkable. Higher taxes would burden ordinary taxpayers and businesses, the “job creators,” and would threaten our international competitiveness. The bottom line is that we simply can’t afford to expand government programs (for example, the social safety net).