SYMBOLS OF CONSERVATISM AT A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY
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Traditional research on political parties suggests that there are certain routes that each party should take to secure support for their policies. Republicans have found success by campaigning on symbols and more abstract issues. Democrats have found success by picking up issues that reflect the peoples values. These have been the traditional norms in social politics, but I believe it would be interesting to see how valid these truths are presently. The traditional models for political parties are worth examining today because of new factors that are more relevant than ever before. Some of these elements include terrorism, national security, and Iraq. There is reason to believe that the models for success have shifted over time because of the mentioned factors. There are a limited number of issues that one can expect people to be attentive to. Add the elements brought about after 9/11, and now it is difficult to balance social issues with foreign policy. Recent politics by both parties seem to have fallen back on valance issues, or simply promoting issues that there is general consensus for. Furthermore, issues that have no clearly developed sides are avoided until there is reasonable support for one solution. James A. Stimson comments on the traditional methods that both parties utilize to find support for their policies. In his book, Tides of Consent (2004), Stimson explains the fluctuations in preferences for liberal and conservative policies. He explains that a sizeable portion of the population still expresses their preference for policy based on the traditional notions about political parties. Traditional notions still correlate Democrats with the New Deal politics and increased government spending. Republicans are linked with shrinking the spending and limiting the influence of the government in the day-today affairs of the people. However, to even the slightly alert political observer, it is clear to note that the two parties do not reflect their traditional selves.
Moti, Danish (2007). SYMBOLS OF CONSERVATISM AT A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY. Available electronically from