A Glimpse of the GOP Future

February 13th, 2010 at 9:46 am David Frum | 15 Comments |

| Print

Here is David Cameron’s pre-election broadcast.


Notice: he is speaking not only to the Conservative base – not to the fantasy that some mass movement of libertarian “tea party” voters has suddenly materialized out of nowhere – but to the swing voters in Britain, especially women. He signs off, “Come and join us, even if you have never voted Tory before.”

Notice too: he’s not talking only about the issues that matter to the voters he already has (welfare reform, school discipline), but also those that matter to the voters he wants (public health, home heating assistance for seniors).

And listen to this: “The hopes you had for Labour – that Britain would become a stronger, fairer society – those hopes don’t just die because Labour haven’t achieved them. They’re alive with us, in the modern conservative party.” That’s a line that will resonate among Americans in a post-Obama era.

Recent Posts by David Frum

15 Comments so far ↓

  • sdspringy

    So Compassionate Conservatism, is this your new direction for the conservative movement? Whats the old saw, insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results?

    David are you insane?

  • Churl

    sdspringy nails it.

  • teabag

    The British Conservative movement is absolutely nothing like the US Conservative movement. The tea party people would be laughed off the stage in the UK.

    There is a real leftward movement as you cross the atlantic. The Conservatives are way to the left of the GOP and are actually sane people with real ideas.

  • joemarier

    Hey, David did write a whole article on the possibility that Cameron would repeat Bush’s mistakes…


  • mpolito

    I really hope this is not the GOP future. David, many of your points about the direction of the GOP are rooted in tailoring your platform to the electorate. The USA is, fortunately, much more conservative than the UK, and the GOP will only have to do become like the Tories of the USA lurches left. Remember, the Tories main opposition party, Labour, are openly socialist. They are self-described socialists. So the Tories, while certainly better than Labour, are really closer to the Dems here than the GOP.

  • gmckee1985

    We already tried the big government “conservatism” under Bush. Mediocre at best, bad in a lot of ways.

    American conservatives, and moderates are much more conservative than overseas….thank God.

  • wrs10

    OK his breath is not condensing – but he is still very lightly dressed for this time of year. And that does not look like his backyard. Why do ad agencies assume that viewers do not notice these things?

  • msmilack

    It seems to me that your fantasies for how the GOP could be are not based on reality; nothing will change if the characters do not change. Until they are replaced with people who think you do, they will simply keep doing what they do: how can they do anything else? You are talking strategy, not substance.

  • sinz54

    The one thing I don’t see from today’s GOP, that we saw in the days of Eisenhower, Reagan, and even Gingrich, is hopefulness–looking forward toward a bright future for America.

    Reagan’s “morning in America” is dead today. What you hear from today’s GOP is “it’s almost midnight”–jeremiads about how America is doomed if Obama continues doing this or that. All negative, very little positive.

    It’s almost a tradition in American political campaigns, going back a century, to assert that “America’s best days are still ahead.” Republicans scored best when they scorned American declinism, the notion that America is doomed to become a third-rate power.

  • DFL

    Cameron backtracked on a European Union referendum and his Tories have slid in the polls since as Cameron has show himself disceitful. Labour is an exhausted party with an unpopular leader yet Cameron and his Left-Wing Conservatism have not buried Labour yet. A hung parliament looms and a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition almost as likely as a Tory majority. Six months from now David cameron may be as relevant as Enoch Powell and Michael Foote. One can only hope.

  • Governing Principles

    While the UK’s moderate conservatism might be unappealing to some in the GOP, it should be noted that in 1997 the Conservative Party did exactly what the Republicans are doing now – swing to the right to please its base – and that kept them out of power for 13 years. It’s only now that the Conservatives are retaking the center (admittedly a center to the left of the USA’s center) that they are now electable again.

    Also, in answer to wrs10′s question, the British have a near pathological hatred of career politicians (whatever party they are from). Cameron will be standing in his back garden to try and look as un-politician-like as possible.


  • John Moss

    The entrepreneurial gene pool of Europe upped and went to the Americas in the 17th 18th and 19th centuries. Sadly, we were left – with the Left!

    Why do you think the Socialist Party of America polled just 8,000 votes in the ’64(?) presidential election!

  • If This Is the GOP Future, They Will Be a Minority Party « International Liberty

    [...] says Republicans need to mimic David Cameron in the United Kingdom. And at his website, Frum highlights this (rather disturbing, as I will explain below) video of Cameron making a pitch to the British [...]

  • » If This Is the GOP Future, They Will Be a Minority Party - Big Government

    [...] says Republicans need to mimic David Cameron in the United Kingdom. And at his website, Frum highlights this (rather disturbing, as I will explain below) video of Cameron making a pitch to the British [...]

  • David Cameron, Conservative - Ross Douthat Blog - NYTimes.com

    [...] from what you might call “reformist” American conservatives — including Reihan Salam, David Frum, David Brooks, and of course yours truly. Others were more skeptical, to put it mildly. National [...]