Principalities & Powers

Racial Politics

Whatever the new Republican majority does with the immense congressional power it seized in last November's elections, it will probably be unimportant compared to the force that started to emerge in the same elections and which the national leadership of the Republican Party, and even more the Democratic Party, tried to ignore, denounce, and destroy. The emergence of the Republican majority, of course, is important in terms of the conventional politics of the nation. Not only has it converted the remaining tenure of the Clinton administration into a two-year-long sequel to Night of the Living Dead, this time with the zombies lurching around in the Oval Office, but it also represents the end of the New Deal electoral coalition and a great leap forward in the political consciousness of the Middle American Revolution.

By themselves those two developments are enough to make the elections of 1994 a major event in American history. But the end of the coalition that formed the electoral foundation of 20th century liberalism does not necessarily mean that a genuinely antiliberal coalition has permanently crystallized, nor does the Republican victory mean that the Republicans are authentic or adequate leaders of the revolution from which they have gained at least temporary congressional dominance.

Since its inception in the 19th century, the Republican Party has been wedded to the myth of Economic Man, which holds that...

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