How the GOP ditched trickle-down economics and embraced populism.
Populism is a natural reaction to concentration of power. And I believe concentration of power is much more of a driving force behind the unhappiness in the US than is concentration of wealth. Concentration of power eliminates even the hope of obtaining wealth through your own initiative or being able to live your life they way you want.
When Trump shoved the Dems off their base, which they had been abusing for decades, they got very, very, very angry. Since they had been exposed as fraudulent advocates of the middle class and that their "ideas" were only campaign slogans to be jettisoned post-election, Dems had to adopt the only marketing campaign left to them: FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). When you have lost your market position because of inferior products, FUD is the only thing that has any chance of working.
"The family" is, unequivocally, the basic economic unit. It has been that way for eons and it will always be that way. So moving to populism, and combining family with middle class advocacy (and the two are synergistic, not independent) the Republicans are "in sync" with economic energy. If they can successfully build a platform on that, and find better messengers, they will usher in for the US an era of prosperity, justice, and freedom that will be unparalleled in history.
I think their next big step should be to ask for help from Dems who are "center-right". Manchin and Gabbard immediately come to mind. (Bari, I think, is center-left but would still be a great addition to help Republicans fully develop their governing philosophy - not as a candidate but as a thought leader).
After that, they need to develop what I call "relationship based ethics" communication skills. They need to keep their "principle based ethics" foundation, but build a bridge to individuals who are predisposed to their governing philosophy but tend to be more oriented around relationships than ethics. (Reagan, knowingly or not, was very good at that.)
Finally, Republicans MUST understand that populism can be very dangerous. History as shown, tragically many times, that populism unconstrained leads to catastrophe. Populism can be very powerful - for good and bad.
This fallacy about "class" and political ideology is getting really old. It doesn't hold up to actual data. Even the NYTs acknowledged that, regardless of "education" level, Trump won a majority of households making over $100K, while Biden won a large majority making under $24K.
I have a masters degree (as does my husband). Our kids attend private school (non-woke). We go to a country club. We are in the top % of income, though unlike the media caricature, super yachts and months long Mediterranean vacations elude our financial means.
While talking heads want to believe I am the average Democrat voter, the reality is, its far more typical for people in my socioeconomic position to vote Republican (high income but no inheritance, no trust funds). I am this "new" Republican party. Which is really just the pre- George W Republican party. I want nothing to do what the fake" Republican" neocon war mongers like George W., Dick Cheney, and John Brennon (and I felt that was LONG before 2016).
Add the insanity of the woke, and yes, I am passionately supporting Republicans. Here are a few of my actual reasons (and they aren't boogeymen like globalization, industrialization, or "fear of a browning US" that left wing ideologues so wish were true)
- We have known for thousands of years a "traditional" two parent family lays the foundation for human thriving, high trust societies, individual fulfillment, human advancement, and societal success. This has been proven. The non-stop attack by the woke on stable two-parent homes is destructive and cruel.
- Few things in human society are more lethal than authoritarianism, the woke embrace it
- We know that, biologically, modern humans can't be divided into distinct races. My Christian faith teaches that there is ONE race - the human race. The woke want me to see everything through their ridiculous racist lens. I find judging others by race to be regressive, bigoted, and simple minded.
- There are biologically TWO human sexes, as with all mammals, yet the woke reduce my innate biological reality to "feelings" while insisting men are entitled to my young daughter's private spaces, athletic competitions, and to rob her of her own comfort and bodily safety because they place the feelings of boys far ahead of the safety and bodily integrity of women and girls. Again, regressive.
- For people who claim to care about the "climate," the woke are relentless in their pursuit of ecologically destructive, and expensive, energy sources that mostly spread pollution and poverty while rejecting the only clean and affordable energy sources that already are available and that would reduce both emissions and poverty - nuclear and natural gas.
- The woke relentlessly attacking actual replicated science have continued that ideology as they INTENTIONALLY destroy our economy and an entire generation of US kids. There has NEVER been ANY replicated studies where actual outcomes show that universal mask mandates work in schools, that children are at meaningful risk from Covid, that children are large vectors of Covid, that lockdowns will "save lives" or prevent the eventual spread of an endemic respiratory virus, that vaccine mandates will decrease the spread of Covid, or that natural immunity is inferior to "vaccine" immunity. In fact, what we see that in huge replication all of these factually wrong ideas embraced with a cult like passion by the woke lead to public policy that causes real harm - direct or collateral - while having virtually no impact on reducing the spread of SARS-Cov-2. Yes, even the vaccine mandates, a recent study compared vaccinations rates to spread in several dozen countries as well as over 2,000 counties in the US and found no correlation between high rates of vaccination and decreased spread. We already knew this in June from Israel and and Iceland.
Those writing these analysis will continue to be completely confused as long as they continue to buy their own narrative over reality.
Industrial workers are not "mad" about robotics, in fact, having worked at a company with some of the most advanced manufacturing plants on Earth, I can tell you first hand that they welcome it. People aren't upset about this boogeyman of "globalization."
Strivers are angry that regulations have gone from a focus on safety and establishing a fair playing field to driving consolidation and creating barriers to entry.
We are angry that the free markets that have been the driver of the American dream are being replaced by oligarchies, unchecked corporate consolidation, and unchecked megacorp CEO power, only made possible by corporate board reform that now allows CEOs to appoint cronies, and ridiculous proxy rules which give these unaccountable CEO's total control over companies they often didn't build, and, more importantly, complete control over the corporation's wealth which they don't personally own.
Obamacare was nothing but a reallocation of healthcare out of the middle class downward towards the dependent class.
The list goes on and on and on (Afghanistan, dependence on foreign oil, Russiagate lies, woke policies always fail. woke people are small minded and regressive).
So please, stop with the nonsense about "class" and who votes for "new" Republicans. No matter how many times you say it, it'll still be a pile of hogwash to claim "fear" is what motivates us, or insinuate we're broke - those assertions are nothing more than woke projecting.
"(It’s unclear what Vance means by “his community.” Rittenhouse has said he drove up, from his home in Illinois, to defend businesses in Kenosha from looting.)"
Came to complain about the implication here as well. In addition to what others are pointing out about his work and living arrangements, it's worth noting that in the upper midwest, depending on the availability of shopping, jobs, and other routine needs, anything within 45 minutes might be visited on a regular basis and reasonably considered one's community.
Saying he drove from "his home in Illinois" as if the IL border isn't a measly 20 minute drive from Kenosha bedazzles an unimportant piece of information, and one wonders for what.
I get so frickin' tired of the negative, mostly subtle in this piece but still quite clear, presentation of conservative people and ideas. The Dems have been the party of darkness, hate, selfishness, and division for many years. Fighting against that is a huge positive.
“Vance has been especially adept at stoking Republican fears”
Please make note when people do this. Anyone who is opposed to The State and The Party (Democrats) is described as being ‘anxious’ or ‘fearful’. This is done to depict them as irrational and potentially dangerous.
Meanwhile when allies of The Party raise an issue the issue is described as an injustice and the person raising the issue is treated with the utmost care and dignity and not intentionally smeared by calling them ‘anxious’ or ‘fearful’.
It means Kyle worked in that community.
It means Kyle’s dad lived in that community.
It means Kyle was in that community almost every day.
I hope the author has the humility to post an update of this wide spread misinformation purported by a media with a radical left agenda with no knowledge of facts or geology.
It does give on-site to much of his use of language, though, throughout this article.
It is Veteran's day. I have to leave my progressive home county where it is ignored and go to a rural area where Veterans will be honored at a small local ceremony. ( am daughter & widow of veterans). Senator Blumenthal-stolen valor--was just one reason for losing confidence in old Democratic party -- Dodd going to Hollywood, Daschle going to K Street and even Gephardt helping anti-union forces. The Democratic party uses politics to gain a foothold then cashes in.
This is not a great piece. It uses all the rhetorical tricks that are employed by those opposed to free markets, e.g. calling debates about market and freedom "abstract" as opposed to middle-class concerns, implying that markets are just the means, the end goal being human flourishing, using the word "dogma" and so on. I should be thankful that the word "orthodoxy" was not used!
I believe that free markets are goals in themselves, when defined as individuals/corporations dealing with others in a voluntary manner and bound by the contracts they agree to (voluntarily, but not necessarily willingly!). Redistributing wealth/income and creating extraneous rules and regulations is wrong and unfair in itself. Any resultant inequality and the likes should be resolved by the people themselves (voluntary redistribution, creative use of contracts etc.). Also, the role of the Fed is often overlooked in creating misery and inequality (and as long as it gets to play with the money supply, the markets aren't free, anyway).
“doing battle with all the titanic forces conspiring against The People: cheap labor, automation, the decline of the family, fentanyl, the Chinese Communist Party, the tech lords, the streaming services, the racialization of everything.”
Nothing wrong with this philosophy. Otherwise it’s the Chicago war zone writ large.
And don’t you just love the whining Kinzinger who complains there has been no leader since Reagan. So why did he run for office then? But then isn’t he from Illinois, home of Chicago.
There is a vast difference between global multinational conglomerates (AKA big business) and Main Street small business. The Republicans need to be the party that looks out for the small businesses, the little guy/gal, the forgotten man. The big boys can take care of themselves
A multiracial workers party is what I desire.
BTW Trump often painted a very optimistic vision for America’s future, if you listened.
I think it was incredibly dumb for people like Rich Lowry and Steve Hilton to embrace the terms nationalism and populism. Largely because those terms are currently being used, somewhat covertly, as pejoratives by utopian global collectivists whose only goal is to kneecap the United States.
No it is not ‘nationalist’ to suggest that companies cannot just violate all of our laws and 50,000 different regulations by sneaking a cargo ship in between themselves and the relevant authorities.
No it is not ‘populist’ to criticize the worthless and evil sacks of shit who have diverted 1/3rd of the economy to Washington DC, the single most disgusting, useless, and corrupt city in the United States.
The above positions are not nationalist or populist or any other ist. They are positions that you are required to hold if you want to be considered a non-criminal citizen of a sovereign nation with a base level of ethics and a modicum of human decency.
When Democrat-inspired activists are teaching school age children that their skin color is their most important attribute, that people with certain skin colors are innately racist regardless of what they say, that any objective measure of performance, even in the exact sciences and mathematics, is racist, then it's clear that America is already being splintered and divided.
The New Republicans are a welcome reaction to this. Perhaps a less crass leader than President Trump would have been more palatable, just as it would have been more palatable if Lyndon Johnson hadn't planned much of his Civil Rights strategy while sitting on the toilet talking to his aides.
But in the end results matter more than the actors who brought them about.
(It’s unclear what Vance means by “his community.” Rittenhouse has said he drove up, from his home in Illinois, to defend businesses in Kenosha from looting.)
If you press your monocle up against the side of the bubble and squint you can see outside where there is additional information that hasn’t been curated for you by reprehensible con artists.
(His parents are divorced. His dad and his aunt and uncle and his cousins live there and he worked there and many of his friends live there.)
My newsfeed includes the Times of London.
Headline: “Far Right protesters in Poland attack border with Belarus” Pols are mad that poverty stricken immigrants are sneaking in and their government is not doing anything (or enough): sound familiar.
Calling the event/protesters “far right” is what caught my attention. I think people see the manipulation. Populism: a populist appeal needs only say the elite are untrustworthy and they will win, because there’s ample evidence, they are untrustworthy. It is such a bald faced miss characterization of what’s going on at the border and peoples legitimate concerns are vilified. Populism is fueled daily and everywhere, really, elite English blow hards, what better grist for the populist mill.
This topic: class. - seems to be making the rounds in journalistic thought these days. Two recent books, one on the media (Bad News) and the other on corporations (Woke Inc) have made the same arguments. It’s a good argument and a place where a smart political operative or party can make some traction.
I for one am sick of my progressive friends “punching down” on me from high upon their self anointed throne. And this is from people who haven’t had much success in their lives - anointing themselves as arbiters of culture. It’s rather laughable.
I do believe that the battle to preserve the United States is with the middle class. How do I get there ? By looking at the opposite and asking - what does this Country look like without the middle class ? Where the elites control everything and the poor are forgotten ? It’s not pretty.
The GOP is smart to “pivot” in the direction of the middle class and to set aside the old style Paul Ryan worldview. Hopefully they are smart enough to make this about class, and set aside race.
Bari thank you for writing a balanced article.
To all of you who are scared by Trump, have you considered his policies? Please explain to me why "putting America first" is wrong when every other country on earth puts themselves ahead of consideration of anything else?
Isn't it time to face reality?