Of course there will be none of these principled compassionate conservatives.
Conservative positions come as a constellation (George Lakoff, Don’t Think of an Elephant); they’re inextricable from each other because they all proceed from the guiding feeling and thus belief that each person is only an individual struggling alone in a harsh universe–not part of a collective or embedded in the whole.
Conservative positions appeal to the abandoned infantile self-centeredness in those who come to identify themselves politically as conservatives, though it’s actually just personal psychological history that’s been given a political label. (“just!” Hmmm.) Personal psychological history (in a full social, historical, ecological, and otheral context) is everything; until we find compassionate expert help in (re)discovering our history and finding and practicing ways to overcome its control over us, with vigilant awareness, unconscious fears, desires and other emotions determine everything we feel, say, and do, including all our relationships—personal, national, religional, and of course, political.
Since the rise of corporations, the money applied to the political process has grown, and has ever more firmly linked politics to corporations. No matter what some theoretical principled conservative believes, there is always a huge crowd to the right who will more completely fulfill the desires of corporations and the rich. The only thing holding them back from iron fascism is the speed at which the public can be manipulated into accepting it via fear, hatred and acclimatization to it.
Corporations and the oligarchs want everyone to accept their dominance by believing the ultimate conservative meme, individuality. It atomizes opposition, reinforces the importance and “divine right” of hierarchy, which they will always top, and cements support for every other conservative position in the constellation.
“…Democrats…may stay home…either from complacency, dissatisfaction, sheer stupidity, or from the fact that their party didn’t bother to mobilize them.”
Oh, come on. Democrats and others on the left will stay home because the vast majority are progressive, and once again the Democratic party has taken their votes and then told them to go fuck themselves.
“The [Democratic] party did not move nearly as far to the left as the GOP has lurched to the right”
That’s safe to say, since the Democratic party has moved lurchingly to the RIGHT, whether following along behind the Republicans or pushing them, or both. Because of their allegiance to the rich and to corporate donors, they reinforce the frames of the far right with every other utterance—individual action, the rich deserve their riches, privatize everything, objectify and commodify everything and everyone. Meanwhile most of the country has moved to the left; large majorities favor climate action, more environmental protections, more worker protections, more wind and solar power and more government help for them, universal health care, higher minimum wage, higher taxes on the rich and corporations, and many other such positions.
PS. Oakeshott’s quote is a bit true, mostly not, and entirely not the point. And they have no respect at all for programs in the safety net; Bill Clinton got rid of Welfare, Biden wants to destroy Social Security, and that’s only the start.
Some observant observations there, but…
“The electorate doesn’t want a center-right third party.”
Lofgren doesn’t say they don’t want a progressive party, which is infinitely more likely. In fact it’s 100% likely, since it already exists and is on the ballot for almost every election in almost all states. (In 2016, the Green Party was on the ballot in 45 states and with official write-in status in 3).
The Green Party mirrors a large majority of the electorate; the party’s positions are the positions of majorities of 70-90% on a large majority of issues.