Term Paper: Political Science the Republican Party

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[. . .] The enraging conservatives in the process nationalized their movement by uniting with the Old Liberals against their common enemy - the activist federal government, while the New Liberals continued to intrude on their narrow powers.

The Flawed Coalition

Lowi gives the credit for the construction of this alliance between Old Liberals and conservatives to Ronald Reagan. This elected Reagan twice and gave Republicans the control of Congress in January 1995. Reagan forged a coalition of freedom-loving Old Liberals and freedom-loathing conservatives by focusing his followers' attention on the evils of the existing national government, which has survived his presidency.

According to Lowi, the coalition was fundamentally flawed, as it attempted to reconcile traditions that have been in direct opposition to one another. The Old Liberals, who support unrestrained capitalism, secular government, and individual rights; and the conservatives, who distrust capitalism, support Christian government, and put community order above individual liberty, are contradictory to each other. Lowi sees this contradiction as the start of the ending of the Republican majority in the United States, this insight giving the name "The End of the Republican Era" to one of his works.

In any case, Lowi's title is a witticism because he also argues for contemporary conservatism being a threat to the American republicanism because its tenets are in not in favor of the principles of majority rule and individual rights that are enshrined in the constitution.


To an extent, Lowi has been correct in his conclusion that populist conservatism is a threat to liberal rights as it only recognizes the authority of God, scripture, tradition, and community norms. However, in demonstrating how fragile the Republican coalition is, and in identifying this contradiction, Lowi undermines his own assertion. Lowi never reasonably explicates, that the Christian Right is a genuine threat to American democracy. Lowi initially tells that extreme conservatives have gained national power by uniting with Old Liberals, then that the alliance between the two groups is bound to disintegrate. But in all this, he fails to identify how conservatives can subvert the democratic process when they are stripped of the power of the Republican coalition. Nevertheless, even if his work is hyperbolic due to the implied alarm over the republican fate, Lowi is correct in representing that the coalition of Republicans is a muddle that is improbable to yield effective and coherent public policy.

Lowi comments that the path out of the ideological confusion and republican disintegration promoted by both New Liberalism and contemporary conservatism is a return to rule by law. This includes ambiguous goals, the delegation of power to judges and bureaucrats, and the clear drafting of statutes that avoid vague language by Congress. If Congress accepts the principle of rule by law, it can recover its accountability to the electorate, as well as the respect essential for the boundaries of a constitutional government.

Flaws in Lowi's Views and its Negative Effects on Democracy

Lowi's suggestions are meaningful and pleasing, but they remain unable to provide a strategy for dealing with the contemporary American crisis that is complete. Lowi presents an intelligent and useful, often original analysis by focusing on ideologies and the philosophical traditions from which they developed, making an important contribution in understanding a political debate that lacks minimal intellectual coherence, better. However, his writings on liberalism lack the systematic analysis of the realities of historical change, social structure, and economic interests. It may not be just to criticize an important and classic work for not being a great one, but Lowi's text does not meet the promise of what it was originally done for. Rather, Lowi's school of thought has promoted disunity among the democratic masses of the United States. Not only among the masses, but this fragmentation and differentiation has got its roots among the Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, and the followers of New and Old Liberalism. The basic cause of this is the fact that Lowi has widened the differences forgetting which, the diverse segments of United States Politics had tried to join and be united.

Works Cited

Fraser, Steve and Gerstle, Gary. The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order, 1930- 1980.

Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1989.

Hartz, Louis. Liberal Tradition in America. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World. 1955.

Hofstadter, Richard. The American Political Tradition. New York: Knopf. 1948

Kymlicka, Will. Liberalism, Community, and Culture. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1991.

Levi, Albert William. The Six Great Humanistic Essays of John Stuart Mill. New York:

Washington Square Press, p. 135. 1963.

Lowi, Theodore J. The End of Liberalism: The Second Republic of the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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