William Kristol has an excellent article in the Weekly Standard arguing that, building on their rhetorical references to Roosevelt and Truman, the Republicans can solidify their position as majority party by explicitly appealing to Democrats who favor the muscular Truman-Scoop Jackson foreign policy tradition.
A minority party becomes a majority party by absorbing elements of the other party, changing them and itself. On taxes and crime and welfare, the GOP has won over much of FDR’s working class, while adjusting its stance to the welfare state. On social and cultural issues, the GOP has won over God-fearing Democrats while modifying its cultural disposition. Now is the moment to complete the realignment by embracing a robust and bipartisan patriotism. And there is the advantage that Ronald Reagan (who had been a Democrat) has already shown the GOP how to do this–how to be an all-American party, as it were, proud of American principle and willing to use American power.
This is, after all, the core of Bush’s foreign policy. It is what divides Bush and Kerry. To frame the choice in a big way–and then to win big–could make 2004 more than a transient electoral victory. It could establish the Republicans as a real majority party–as the Roosevelt-Reagan party, as the Truman-Bush party–with a governing majority and a governing doctrine that could shape America’s future.
What I find most intriguing, refreshing, and appealing about this tantalizing prospect is that it offers the Republicans a path to majority partydom without once mentioning race, ethnicity, growing numbers of Hispanics, miniscule numbers of black votes, etc. It suggests appealing to American citizens based on their interests and values as, well, American citizens.