There were some interesting comments in my post defending conservatism yesterday. I thought it might be helpful to explain the Old Right’s view of the New Deal.
Everyone who studies American politics is familiar with the Southern Strategy. Under this strategy, Republicans concede the black vote and get the vote of "the silent majority." Read more at Wikipedia if you’re not familiar with the strategy.
The point is that many believe that the Southern Strategy is the modern Republican electoral strategy.
Similarly, the modern Democratic electoral strategy is the New Deal strategy – though you won’t hear this discussed in more mainstream sources.
In short, the New Deal strategy is: 1) make more people dependent on government for some portion of their income and 2) be the party that is clearly more favorable to government.
The first thing the New Deal did was make the unemployed dependent on government for income – think welfare, CCC, social security, medicare, medicaid, etc. This transformation immediately gave FDR a huge new voting block. Over time, the Democrats continued to expand their ranks as more people become eligible for these programs. The Democrats will always be seen as the party more favorable to government spending. If everyone relies on government spending, it follows that everyone will be hesitant to vote for Republicans . . . and so Republicans had to accept the New Deal (and the Old Right died).
There are better ways to achieve the goals of the various New Deal programs. Singapore, for example, makes workers save a certain percentage of their salary (20%, I believe). This savings can only be invested in certain ways. Thus, Singapore has created a stable, sound Social Security system without creating a class of dependents. The purpose of the New Deal – as understood by the Old Right – was to create this class of dependents. After all, Social Security isn’t particularly good at providing retirement income (it’s bankrupt!) but it is very good at create dependency. Coincidence? I doubt it.