Ideology or Problem Solving – Which Will It Be?

A review of
Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats
(Authors: Matt Grossmann and David A. Hopkins)

Grossman and Hopkins have provided a deep dive into the “symbolic conservativism vs. operational liberalism” phenomenon, also explored a few years ago by Ellis and Stimson. Their main thesis—which they hammer over and over in different aspects of the US political world—is that the Republican Party appeals to voters via high ideological arguments, while the Democratic Party appeals to a variety of groups, promising incremental problem solving.

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How a Conservative Juggernaut May Be Countered

In the political communication business, the “sound bite” mindset persists.    One-liner messaging, carefully formulated to arouse the voter’s emotions within the few seconds of their attention you can realistically get. But the battleground has changed forever.   The combination of the

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Health Care Reform and Socialized Medicine

A review of
Introduction to US Health Policy: The Organization, Financing, and Delivery of Health Care in America
(Author: Donald A. Barr)

Democrats will be pushing health care reform for 2020. “Universal” health care is a buzzword that energizes their base, though it remains to be seen whether many independent voters will be persuaded. Some independents, certainly, have doubts as to whether reform would advantage or disadvantage them personally. But almost all independents reason ideologically as well. Most are “conflicted conservatives” who, in widely varying degrees, may resonate to conservative one-liners about big government, bureaucratic inefficiency, stifled innovation, or—most dramatically—socialism.

Donald Barr recounts a century of trying to achieve health care reform in the US, beginning with a failed proposal for national health insurance by Theodore Roosevelt in 1912. Similar failures reoccurred every decade or two afterwards. When Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to include national health insurance as part of the New Deal in 1938,

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