Fusionism (politics)

Fusionism (politics)

Fusionism is an American political term for the combination or "fusion" of libertarians and traditional conservatives in the American conservative movement. The strategy was advocated by "National Review" editor Frank Meyer, who believed that the holders of various disparate conservative beliefs should work together to combat the threats of Cold War communism, increasing government power domestically, and what was seen as a decline in civil society (especially during the Great Society era of the mid-1960s). In many ways, fusionism can be considered as a revival of classical liberalism.

Fusionism saw its height during the presidency of Ronald Reagan and in the immediate aftermath of the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994. Fusionist impulses began to decline during the presidency of George W. Bush.Fact|date=July 2008 The social conservative element of the Republican Party was seen on the ascent (at least with respect to domestic politics), leading to increased domestic spending on "moral" issues that angered fiscal conservatives and libertarians. In addition, the long standing tensions between neoconservatives and paleoconservatives bubbled over in the wake of the Iraq War.

Following the Republican Party's defeat in the 2006 midterm elections, some are calling for a new "fusionism" between libertarians and liberals in the Democratic Party to address what is seen as increasing governmental interference in private activity.Fact|date=May 2008

Prominent Fusionists

*William F. Buckley -- founder of National Review
*Frank Meyer -- editor of National Review
*Barry Goldwater -- US Republican presidential candidate
*Ronald Reagan -- fortieth president of the United States
*Ralph Reed -- former executive director of the Christian Coalition

Critics of Fusionism

*L. Brent Bozell, Jr. -- traditionalist Catholic political author
*Russell Kirk -- traditional conservative philosopher
*Ayn Rand -- novelist and founder of Objectivism, who clashed with traditional conservatives and with other libertarians
*Murray Rothbard -- libertarian author and economist
*Patrick Buchanan -- political commentator and prominent paleoconservative

ee also

Neoconservatism and paleoconservatism


*Ryan Sager, The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians and the Battle to Control the Republican Party (2006)
*Brink Lindsey, [http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6800 "Liberaltarians"]
*Arnold Kling, [http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=020607A "Why Be a Conservative Libertarian?"]
*Edward Feser, [http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=021307B "Hayek and Fusionism"]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • fusionism — fusionist, n., adj. /fyooh zheuh niz euhm/, n. Politics. the principle, policy, or practice of fusion. [1850 55; FUSION + ISM] * * * …   Universalium

  • fusionism — fu•sion•ism [[t]ˈfyu ʒəˌnɪz əm[/t]] n. gov the principle, policy, or practice of fusion in politics • Etymology: 1850–55 fu′sion•ist, n. adj …   From formal English to slang

  • fusionism — fusionist, n., adj. /fyooh zheuh niz euhm/, n. Politics. the principle, policy, or practice of fusion. [1850 55; FUSION + ISM] …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Fusion — can refer to combining two or more distinct things *Cell fusion *Freezing, a chemistry term for a liquid undergoing a phase change into a solid *Gene fusion, a genetic event and molecular biology technique *Nuclear fusion, the process by which… …   Wikipedia

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