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Opinion Conservatives need to get over their allergy to government action

David Gergen: Many conservatives recognize that attracting a new, diverse, working-class voter base also requires a non-libertarian approach to economics. Gergen says the 1980s-era conservative political renaissance rested in part on a comprehensive critique of the reigning liberal economic orthodoxy. He says conservatives have largely been tolerant of existing government economic interventions and resistant to new ones. This is no longer politically tenable. Upper-income voters want intervention to combat climate change, immigration and immigration, Gergen writes. Gergen adds that voters like free public education, subsidized health care and generous pensions. All prefer the Scylla of tax increases to the Charybdis of entitlement cuts as aging populations put fiscal pressure on health-care and retirement programs, he says.

Past GOP efforts to limit the growth of entitlement spending after GOP landslides in 1994 and 2010 backfired politically, helping to reelect presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. The fact is that 63 percent of Trump voters care more about keeping Social Security benefits than preventing tax hikes. Only a renewed conservatism that abandons market fundamentalism will permanently attract the working class the movement