Well, I must say this is an interesting development.
“On a flight Tuesday from Indianapolis to Fort Wayne, Ind., two leaders in the House Republican conference discussed a memo that argues that their party’s future demands they “embrace our new coalition” because “President Trump’s gift didn’t come with a receipt.”
Why it matters: The document, titled “Cementing GOP as the Working Class Party,” leaves no doubt that Republicans — at least in the House of Representatives — will be doubling down on Donald Trump for the foreseeable future.
Behind the scenes: On the afternoon flight between fundraisers, home state Rep. Jim Banks, who leads the largest bloc of House conservatives, the Republican Study Committee, handed his memo to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. …”
This raises a thorny question.
What would it take to persuade us to play ball? After all, that’s who the new voters are who Trump mobilized and brought into the GOP in the 2016 election: the “Market Skeptic Republicans” or “American Preservationists” or Right Populists or what is denounced in the media as the “far right.” There isn’t any question about this. Trump’s base is ethnocentric White working class voters. The same is true of other European nations where the same forces are at work.
As much as the GOP might wish it were so, there isn’t a world where “Right Populism” and White Nationalism are completely distinct. It is the same people with the same values, beliefs, attitudes and agenda who are responding to the same social forces. The two major grievances which have always animated these voters for the past thirty years – immigration and political correctness – are now the big winners and draw for the Republican Party. That’s because the Trump voters who became Republicans are the most conservative leaning ones. There are plenty of non-voters and Independents who share the same view on these issues, but who remained skeptical of Trump and the GOP.
A survey of the comment section on any “far right” website would find that many people voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, some voted for him only in 2016 and soured on him and some people didn’t vote in either presidential election because they are convinced the system is rigged against them. Trump didn’t succeed in consolidating the “far right” vote in either 2016 or 2020. The “far right” vote was much more energized and engaged in the 2016 election than in the 2020 election.
If you look at the polls, you will find that the “far right” issues are significantly more popular than True Cons issues and the Republican Party. The people are with us on political correctness, immigration, crime, trans, censorship and civil liberties. As for economics and foreign policy, our views on those two subjects are far closer to the Center. We are social conservatives and economic populists. When you dig down into our issues and priorities, we are the moderates, not extremists. A few generations ago, most of us were New Deal Democrats and Center Left voters. UKIP in Britain attracted Labour voters.
The “far right” vote is concentrated in the middle because of our views on economics. We are the leftwing of the Republican Party and the Independents who are adjacent to it. Charles Koch is the actual far right libertarian extremist. Bill Kristol is the extremist on foreign policy, not us.
The funniest thing about this is that it is starting to dawn on the GOP that they can win both “far right” voters and black and Hispanic voters. After all, these people are all Democratic Leaning Working Class (DLWC) voters. A majority of Trump voters actually voted for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012. Less than a decade ago, MAGA voters were weakly attached Democrats and Indies. The “far right” voters didn’t like Conservatism, Inc. … and often for many of the same reasons as black and Hispanic voters. The GOP was the party of people like George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney.
If you looked at all working class voters and asked them to describe their views on culture, economics and foreign policy, you would find remarkable similarities across racial lines. They all believe that endless foreign wars are a stupid waste of time and money. They all believe the economic system is rigged to the advantage of the wealthy and powerful. They are all more socially conservative than upper middle class progressives. They all supported the stimulus checks. The same is true of race. They are all more ethnocentric than White college-educated, upper middle class voters. There is no difference between “far right” White working class voters who are ethnocentric and black voters who are equally ethnocentric except that under political correctness we are supposed to believe one group is evil and the other good. Blacks are far more racist, ethnocentric and identitarian than Whites.
We know from the polls that “Latinx” voters are just as opposed to political correctness as White voters. “Latinx” voters do not grasp why blacks are put up on a pedestal above them in the United States. In terms of their issues and priorities, “Latinx” voters aren’t that different from White working class voters. They care about issues like jobs and the economy and affordable health care, not open borders. “Latinx” voters are not natural conservatives, but they are natural populists. They tend to be socially conservative and moderate on economics. A large number of them are also bootstraps or enterpriser types.
“Our electoral success in the 2022 midterm election will be determined by our willingness to embrace our new coalition. House Republicans can broaden our electorate, increase voter turnout, and take back the House by enthusiastically rebranding and reorienting as the Party of the Working Class. …
There is an embittered and loud minority in the GOP that finds our new coalition distasteful, but President Trump’s gift didn’t come with a receipt. Members that want to swap out working class voters because they resent President Trump’s impact on the GOP are wrong. In fact, they are intentionally sabotaging Republicans’ political future …”
The memo is actually pretty good.
I’ve been saying all of these things myself on this blog. The memo advises the GOP to focus on immigration, anti-wokeness, trade and censorship in their strategy to retake Congress. That’s 4 out of my 5 top priorities. If they are serious about it, I would say that is actually a big improvement.
Obviously, I am far from convinced that any of this is genuine and suspect it is just another cynical bait-and-switch (lure the populists in with an immigration backlash and pivot to unpopular corporate tax cuts in office), but I will continue to monitor the situation and share my thoughts. As I said the other day, if the GOP could block the Biden amnesties and get us uncensored on the internet, that would go a long way to building trust. We would much rather focus our attention on fighting the Democrats.
Note: As far as this blog goes, I plan to criticize Biden as harshly as I criticized Trump. I’m a cross-pressured moderate and Independent voter which means that both sides irritate me.
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