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Liz Truss, Supply-Side Crush

American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses Liz Truss’s disastrous time as prime minister and the irrational response from supply-siders.

In Preparation for Power, America’s New Right Builds New Institutions

In a profile of the new institutions springing up to influence the new right’s policy agenda, American Compass is described as “among the more sophisticated,” with proposals that have been “influential among lawmakers.”

Oren Cass Discusses the Future of the GOP

American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses whether DC’s conservative institutions will shift after the 2022 primaries to become more responsive to the GOP base.

A Battle for the GOP’s Future Is Under Way

Oren Cass makes the case that the Republicans must move beyond the dog-eared 1980s playbook of tax cuts and deregulation if they are to succeed.

The Five Deadly Sins of the Left: An Update

Even the financial crisis of 2008–09 did not spur any real realignment of voters toward the left. Nor have—so far—the twin economic and health crises brought on by the COVID pandemic. What has gone wrong?

Realignment Conference: The Future of Populism

American Affairs’s Julius Krein, American Compass’s Wells King, and the Niskanen Center’s Samuel Hammond discuss the new right, populism, and the debate over neoliberalism.

Woking 9 to 5

Not What They Bargained For, the American Compass survey of worker attitudes, highlights the ways that the labor movement’s focus on progressive politics has undermined its own popularity and alienated the lower and working classes. Workers similarly disdain “woke” employers.

Keep the Child Credit Tied to Work

Americans want creative policymaking that better supports families, but always with the expectation that families receiving public support are also working to support themselves.

What I Wish Our Politicians Knew

When politicians inflame the passions that divide us, it might lead to a boost in the polls, but it leaves us feeling more and more frustrated with our friends, our neighbors, and even our own family members.

What Republicans Can Learn from the UK’s Conservative Party

As the big loser in 2020, the GOP should consider what it can learn from Britain’s Conservative Party, which offers a compelling policy matrix.

Don’t Talk to Us Like We’re Idiots

There’s an easy way to tell when politicians think we’re idiots. They have this way of dancing around the answer when they are asked a question, when even a simple “yes” or “no” would do the trick.

A Consolidationist Agenda for the Right

Any political movement or political party worth its salt, when confronted with data evincing the sordid state of the American family, ought to respond by substantively prioritizing the American family’s institutional rejuvenation.

Do They Even Know Who They Represent?

It would be nice if politicians did their job and represented us. Half the time I don’t even know if they know the first thing about the places they claim to represent, much less the people who live here. What is the point of having a democracy if nobody will listen to you?

1980 All Over Again? In Search of the Right Analogy for the 2020 Election

The 2020 election bears the most resemblance to 1980, which ushered a transformed Republican Party into the White House and Senate for the first time since 1954.

work, construction
Joe Biden Should Be Doing More That Really Helps Workers

American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses President Biden’s first days in office and why he should focus on policies that help working Americans.

The Future Really is Faction

Democrats and Republicans alike should feel free to contradict their putative leaders, for they contain multitudes.

Reclaim Democracy From Technocracy

Our present predicament, characterized as it by an emboldened and rapacious post-U.S. Capitol siege Big Tech edifice all too eager to dutifully serve as a repressive ruling class appendage, was perfectly encapsulated on Friday by two of my Commons co-bloggers.

Republican Party Platforms On Collective Bargaining, 1920-2020

In 2020 Donald Trump won 40 percent of voters who live in a household with at least one member in a labor union, slightly fewer than the 42 percent of union households who voted for him in 2016.  With the exception of Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden won fewer union households than any recent Democratic presidential candidate. 

Is There a Case for Principled Populism From the GOP?

Marshall Auerback discusses how a principled populism that addresses working-class interests could emerge in the GOP.

Worker Power or Loose Borders: You Can Only Pick One

American Compass’s Oren Cass discusses the tension between worker power and loose immigration policy.

Is There a Case for Principled Populism From the GOP?

“Populism” is a term that since the modern era has been generally trotted out to mean a political attitude that reflects widespread anger and resentment against powerful elites, while among stenographers for the power class, populism has been reflexively trotted out to warn against the passions and wants of the mob.

Family Trauma and the Skills Gap

In a recent conversation hosted by American Compass, “What Next: A Multi-Ethnic, Working-Class Conservatism,” Ohio Congressman Anthony Gonzalez discussed the skills gap. “[T]he number one issue that I hear from employers is, I have jobs, I could hire 10 people tomorrow, but either the folks don’t want to do the work that we have, or I just can’t find the right people.”

Growth vs. Redistribution: The New Fault Line in U.S. Politics of Economic Policy

A few years ago, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF, the tech policy think tank I lead) surveyed several hundred DC policy folks to find out, among other things, what they thought ITIF’s political orientation was. About 40 percent said we were moderate, a third said we were conservative, and a quarter said we were liberal. Assuming the latter two groups weren’t clueless, it reinforced to me that on economic policy, the old conservative-liberal lines are anachronistic.

What Happened

The Trump Presidency in Review

The Future of the Biden and Trump Coalitions

While Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States and Donald Trump will join the small club of incumbents who could not get re-elected, it’s fair to say that Biden’s triumph was not so overwhelming that it even begins to settle the question of which party will dominate the 2020s.

Obama’s America Is Trump’s America Is Biden’s America

American Compass’s Oren Cass discusses the 2020 election, arguing that the outcome simply tells us who will govern us, not who we are.

The Birth of a Multi-Ethnic, Working-Class Conservatism

American Compass’s Oren Cass argues that the future of conservatism lies in a multi-ethnic, working-class coalition.

US Election: The Working Class is Up for Grabs

It’s now clear that Joe Biden will be America’s next president. While Democrats will undoubtedly celebrate this fact, the overall election results should give little comfort to them, given their failure to re-establish the party’s historically successful New Deal coalition, especially the working-class component. 

A Contested Election Would Be Bad. So Would a Landslide.

A contested election—especially one in which an unelected body casts the final vote—is the worst possible outcome next week. Trump winning in a landslide would be preferable. So would a Biden blowout.

Conservative Feminism and Market Fundamentalism

In the weeks leading up to Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation as Supreme Court Justice, much was written about the new conservative feminism that Barrett arguably embodies. But as Ross Douthat asked in his column at The New York Times, “can there be a conservative feminism that’s distinctive, coherent and influential, at least beyond quirky religious subcultures like the faculty at the University of Notre Dame?”

Can the Left Overcome Its Technopessimism?

In his excellent American Compass essay “The Five Deadly Sins of the Left”, Ruy Teixeira calls out the left for what he terms their “technopessimism”. He writes: “the Left has Read more…

The Three Failed Utopias of the Establishment Right

In March 2016, as Donald Trump was headed toward securing the nomination of the Republican party for president at the Republican national convention in July, I published a piece in The National Interest about the collapse of the establishment Republican agenda.  Today, on the verge of the 2020 election, my essay is as relevant as ever:

Conservatism Must Be Chastened by Humility

If a realigned Republican Party is to emerge as a viable national political force, the ever-incisive Henry Olsen will be one of its leading architects. His American Compass essay, “The Three Deadly Sins of the Right,” once again shows us why. I would merely like to expand upon Olsen’s groundwork.

Elitism, Right and Wrong

I will happily agree that those are three of the sins of the American Right. But while Olsen ties snobbery and hubris primarily to Republican religiosity, separating them out from market fundamentalism, I consider the three of a piece with each other, and Olsen’s concern about GOP Christianity a bit of a red herring. 

Political Analysts from Left & Right Explain How Their Own Side Fails the American People

PRESS RELEASE—American Compass’s October collection explores how Democratic and Republican establishments have been co-opted by a ruling class with little connection to most Americans’ needs.

Presidential Candidates Are Ignoring Ordinary Voters’ Needs

In this commentary for the Financial Times, Cass considers what the presidential candidates would be talking about if workers and their interests were of primary concern

The Three Deadly Sins of the Right

Market Fundamentalism. Snobbery. Hubris.

The Five Deadly Sins of the Left

Identity Politics. Retro-Socialism. Catastrophism. Growthphobia. Technopessimism.

Lone Star Stand

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-2) underscores the importance of discussing labor, middle-class issues, and industrial policy on the right-of-center.

What Will The GOP Look Like After Trump?

Donald Trump’s presence in 2016 was heralded as a fundamental shock to the system, as a new way for the Republican Party, as a final nail in the coffin of zombie Reagan-era public policy pushed by the billionaire and think tank class in Washington. 

Can the GOP Empower the Workers of Today and Tomorrow?

The Republican Study Committee’s American Worker Task Force has just released a new report, “Reclaiming the American Dream: Proposals to Empower the Workers of Today and Tomorrow”.  As such it Read more…

How The Elites Rigged Supreme Court Politics

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg less than 50 days before the 2020 election has dramatically increased the stakes of the election, and is exactly the type of September surprise that could scramble Americans’ voting patterns this late in the game. 

Trump Threw Stimulus Checks Back Into Play and Called for a Large Economic Aid Package — But Republicans Still Aren’t Backing More Spending

American Compass’s Oren Cass comments on the conceptual tensions underlying Congress’s standoff on COVID-19 economic relief packages.

Are British Conservatives Providing a Future Template for Post-Trump Republicans?

Much as the Brexit referendum anticipated the rise of the Trump presidency, the current UK Conservative government led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson may now be providing clues as to a possible future path for the post-Trump Republican Party in the United States.  The prevailing ideological preferences of Johnson and his advisors are becoming increasingly clear in the context of the United Kingdom’s current negotiations with the European Union (EU), where the vexed question of state aid to industries may ultimately become the issue that torpedoes a comprehensive free trade deal.

Republican Party Battles Over its Post-Trumpian Soul

American Compass’s Oren Cass spotlights the ideological contest between libertarian Republicans and post-Trump conservatives for the future identity of the American political right.

Tracing the Path of the Modern GOP, From Reagan to Trump

The Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib and American Compass’s Oren Cass discuss future paths for the GOP.

Republicans Are Ripping Out ‘The Very Heart and Soul’ of Their Party

Reason magazine’s Stephanie Slade cites American Compass’s work on Corporate Actual Responsibility as evidence that conservatives are pushing libertarianism out of the Republican Party.

Trumpism Gives Grand Old Party an Identity Crisis

American Compass’s Oren Cass talks with the Times of London about the vein of pro-worker conservatism that is emerging out of Trumpism.

How Trump Has Changed the Republicans

The Saturday Essay features American Compass’s efforts to construct a new conservative governing philosophy.

The Republican Party Has A Tough Choice To Make

American Compass’s Oren Cass describes the “vital opportunity for the American right-of-center to develop a genuinely conservative economic platform that focuses on working families.”

A Major Question Still Remains for Biden’s Campaign

American Compass’s Oren Cass reviews Joe Biden’s acceptance speech for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Where Do Republicans Go From Here?

David Brooks features American Compass and executive director Oren Cass leading efforts to “push the G.O.P. in a post-Trump direction.”

The Shy Trump Voter

A new poll of Michigan voters by Robert Calahy’s Trafalgar Group indicates a tight race. What explains the other polls that show Biden ahead by a wide margin? Calahy points to “social desirability bias.” Put simply, people don’t want to admit to socially stigmatized views, and thus won’t admit they are willing to vote for Trump. Calahy thinks this effect is greater today than it was in 2016.

Oren Cass on the Lincoln Project and the Future Direction of the GOP

American Compass’s Oren Cass shares his thoughts on the Lincoln Project and his hopes for the future of the GOP.

What a Post-Trump Republican Party Might Look Like

Ezra Klein interviews American Compass’s Oren Cass about challenging the right-wing economic orthodoxy and its quasi-religious veneration of markets, and focusing instead on clear social goals that put families first, eschew economic growth as the be-all-end-all of policymaking, and recognize the inescapability of government intervention in the economy.

America Cottons on to Industrial Policy Again

Recently, I suggested that the United States would do well to emulate some aspects of China’s economic development model, largely on the grounds that this still constituted the optimal route to reindustrialization. If done correctly, reindustrialization can provide a key means of generating high quality jobs in the U.S. and a corresponding break from today’s prevailing market fundamentalist model characterized by precarious employment prospects, wage stagnation and the loss of many of the attributes long associated with a prosperous and stable middle class.

Should Congress Extend the $600 Federal Unemployment Benefit?

In March as Ohio began to shut down, Emily—a thirtysomething mom who asked that I not use her real name—worried about her family, her neighbors, and especially the elderly. She posted on her town’s Facebook page offering to grocery shop for those unable to go to the store, or to share a meal with anyone who might be hungry, saying that she’d feed them whatever she could out of her own kitchen.

The Fight On The Right: A Pre-Trump Or Post-Trump Future?

American Compass’s Oren Cass describes the parameters of the fight on the right and makes the case for a Post-Trump conservatism.

Good Policy is Good Politics

Try as we might, those of us who dare to challenge economic orthodoxy within the GOP are unlikely to prevail on policy and moral grounds alone. But the politics of today offer us another course that is just as powerful: offering a prescription to protect from impending electoral doom of the party if the course isn’t corrected. Rejecting economic orthodoxy within the GOP and embracing the largest jobs program in American history may be the only antidote to saving the Senate majority and the Trump presidency.

Trickle-down Distrust

In his recent post Matt Stoller observes that a common theme at The Commons thus far is “the reemergence of the state as the key locus of legitimacy for the exercise of power” and urges conservatives to think about corruption and statecraft. What’s needed, he says, “is a vision of how to structure such a state without succumbing to corruption.”

Why America Needs a Great Civil Service

Henry Adams described the hopelessness in Washington in 1860 and early 1861 as the country careened towards break-up and war this way: “No one could help. Looking back on this moment of crisis, nearly 50 years afterwards, one could only shake one’s white beard in silent horror.”

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