Making Conservatism Work for America

The GOP Needs a Hamiltonian Agenda

02.12.13 2:30 PM ET

The GOP doesn't need modernization - it needs Alexander Hamilton:

The party needs a new policy platform -- not a repackaging of Ayn Rand novels or the ideology of Austrian economists, but an agenda that is devoted to creating high-paying jobs for average Americans in an age of globalization. That new agenda begins with an appreciation that the American exceptionalism of the mid-20th century was not the creation of Adam Smith's invisible hand but of careful cultivation of policies that explicitly favored infrastructure, domestic manufacturing, technological innovation and rising wages for middle-income workers.

Indeed, the glories of the postwar era emerged out of the creative fusion of the "American System" of economic development that Abraham Lincoln ushered in and the conservative social policies of the New Deal. The sooner conservatives remember that, the sooner the GOP will be able to reach higher ground.