I’ve heard a lot of hot air about how mainstream conservatism has changed and how the GOP is now the party of the multiracial, multiethnic working class. It is not Left vs. Right anymore. It is Top vs. Bottom.
We clearly saw otherwise when Sen. Ron Johnson came out on the Senate floor and twice shot down the effort by Sen. John Hawley and Sen. Bernie Sanders to pass a clean bill of $1,200 stimulus checks which were supported by 88% of Americans. This was a revealing moment when the mask dropped because it illustrated once again that rightwing populists like Josh Hawley are perennial outliers in the Republican Party. They are out of step with their own party on major issues.
Sen. John Hawley also introduced a bill on tech censorship. It went nowhere in the Republican caucus. The same was true of Trump’s border wall and infrastructure plan. When he was running for president in 2016, Trump said he wanted to get rid of the carried interest loophole in his tax plan. This also went nowhere. He opposed cuts to entitlements. And yet, Trump had Mick Mulvaney propose those cuts in his own budgets. Virtually every aspect of Trump’s populist agenda was defeated by his own party. He couldn’t advance a populist agenda because he staffed his administration with conservatives.
After four years of “National Populism” and moving the “Overton Window,” the GOP was only willing to consent to $600 stimulus checks – moving to $600 from their original position of $0 – because the Senate was at stake and Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock were using the issue to bludgeon David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Mitch McConnell promised David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler that he would pass a bill before Christmas that handed out peanuts to Georgia voters because the issue was hurting them so badly in the polls. Both already had a major problem with their public image due to insider trading.
There is no political support in the Republican Party for anything populist. Not on trade policy. Not on the tax code. Not on Big Tech censorship. Not on immigration. Not on foreign policy. Not on culture war issues like political correctness. Not on White identity and race. Not on LGBTQ extremism. Populist voters only end up empowering conservatives. It has been this way for generations. Every rightwing populist movement of the last 50 years from the Religious Right to White Nationalism to the Tea Party to MAGA has failed for this reason. At the end of the day, you get the same old conservatism.
I’m tired of listening to this siren song … vote for the GOP because of White identity or foreign policy or immigration or trade policy or political correctness … and when it is all said and done absolutely nothing changes except our condition deteriorates. It is a complete waste of our time because there is simply no appetite for change or advancing our agenda among our “representatives.”