Editorial: Phew, there wasn’t a red wave. But it’s too soon to exhale.
The state of the union isn’t the same as a few months ago, when the Obama Administration and the political right were engaged in a concerted effort to portray Republicans as the party of “socialism” and “social justice.” The country was ready to elect the country’s first female president, the Democrats had the biggest midterm turnout since World War II and were poised to pick up 18 seats in the Senate.
As those things have happened, the news media has shifted from the political center to center right, from reporting exclusively on a Republican wave to reporting on a GOP “tipping point.” The shift has been so sudden and sweeping that we are now seeing a new, entirely new Republican ideology emerging, centered on the idea that they’re not the party of social Darwinism and that the GOP is much, much better than Democrats because they’re better capitalists. For example, we now have a poll showing that a majority of Republicans “are more concerned that the government isn’t spending enough on infrastructure because the private sector lacks incentives to invest.”
Here’s what you need to know about the GOP’s new ideological agenda:
A lot of Republicans can’t wait to get the party of social justice and social inequality out of the White House. | M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO
On the left and center-left
Social justice, social inequality
Social justice advocates have been around for a long time. But social inequality advocates come in a few varieties. They include those who advocate for the redistribution of wealth (i.e., “social wealth,” like the Occupy Wall Street crowd) and those who advocate for greater economic equality (i.e., “social equality,” such as the “democratic socialists” or “libertarians”).
A lot of Republican politicians have been quick to adopt the language of social equality and social justice, without actually endorsing any specific programs. But, at the same time, they have embraced the term “socialism” and “social justice” in a way that suggests that their party’s ideology is less statist than its liberal and progressive