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Conservatives Are Having Another Nervous Breakdown Over ‘Socialism’

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If there is one distinctive quality that sets apart the American conservative movement from its counterparts in other democratic polities, it is a refusal to think about domestic economic questions in measured terms. Conservatives don’t differ from liberals in the weight or scale of their preferences, wishing to have less of this or more of that; they reject higher taxes and domestic spending everywhere and always.

Indeed, they tend to greet any new effort to expand government not as a political negotiation, but as an existential threat to liberty. The New Deal was communistic, the enactment of Medicare a twilight struggle to preserve the dying embers of American freedom, Bill Clinton’s upper-bracket tax hike a terrifying exercise in class warfare, Obamacare a socialist plot.

And while conservatives have generated little in the way of popular disaffection with the Biden administration’s proposals, its intelligentsia has followed the historical pattern.

Biden’s plan contains a wide array of discrete proposals: subsidies for child care, community college, child tax credits, health insurance for people whose governors refused Medicaid expansion, and so on. It is accordingly........

© Daily Intelligencer

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