Avik Roy advised Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign on health care, ran the policy shop on Rick Perry’s 2016 campaign, and then worked for Marco Rubio after Perry dropped out. So Roy’s Republican credentials are pretty solid. But he’s aghast at the direction his party has taken in recent years.
The question Roy asks of conservatives today is a profound one: what is it you’re seeking to conserve? Under Donald Trump, he fears Republicans are fighting to conserve the idea of America as a fundamentally white, Christian country. “Trump showed me that white identity politics was the dominant force driving the Republican grass roots,” Roy told the Atlantic.
Roy, who recently founded The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, believes conservatism believes is bigger than that — and in this podcast, he explains why, even as he clearly details the difficulties the movement faces moving beyond white identity politics. We also go deep into healthcare, a subject Roy and I have been arguing about for years. A few other topics we cover:
-What he thinks Trumpism represents as a phenomenon
-How he feels he’s dealt with his identity as a conservative as opposed to as a Republican
-How the aftermath of 9/11 led him to abandon a “colorblind” outlook on race
-His hope for a new type of reform within the conservative movement that might result in “diverso-cons”
-How the innovator’s dilemma helps explain the GOP’s current problems
-Why many conservatives don’t spend much time thinking about healthcare as an issue, and what it could learn from progressives who do
-His thoughts on setting price controls for medical procedures and other costs to consumers
-Why he thinks AI doctors might change medical practice and costs in the not-too-distant future
-His criticism of how people on the left see nonprofit institutions as inherently more beneficial to society than for-profit companies, and the implications that has for healthcare
-Whether Republicans are prepared to really offer an Obamacare replacement, and if so, what it might look like
-Leah Wright Rigueur’s The Loneliness of the Black Republican
-Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind
-Rationalism & Politics and Other Essays by Michael Oakeshott