Friday, May 04, 2007
Note on fusionism
Fusionism is the idea that the Right in the United States is not a atomic entity, but essentially a coalition of groups of somewhat disparate motivation. In its original form, associated with former National Review editor Frank Meyer, there were three elements; anti-communists, economic conservatives, and traditionalists. This was essentially the coalition that elected Ronald Reagan some decades later, and carried the Republican party to majority or near-majority since.
Now with the Republican reverses in 2006 and dark outlook now, there is a great deal of speculation that the "fusionist" structure of the Republican coalition is going to be realigned, much of it plausible. The overall structure of our political culture is in greater flux now than I can ever recall, so it's very likely that certain things that have held together before will be shaken loose.
But when you look at the various sources of dissatisfaction on the contemporary right (paleocons, libertarians, crunchy cons, fiscally conservative green-eyeshade types), it's at least as likely to think that that traditionalist and economic conservatives should unite against the mainstream Republican establishment as it is to think that they should split apart.