I’ve concluded there was a realignment.
The 2016 election fundamentally changed the Republican Party. The composition of the Republican base looks different now. The Trump voters came into the Republican Party in 2016 and knocked other people out of the party and the process continued in the 2020 election. The establishment wing of the party is demographically in a weaker position due to the loss of affluent suburbanites.
“Is there any chance we could come up with another name for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union? I was thinking something a bit more eye-popping, along the lines of the “Anti-Big Tech Censorship Shark Fin League.” This is in part because one suspects that the name change would keep the story of the union currently fighting against Amazon for collective bargaining rights in Alabama in the headlines. But it is also because, as far as I can tell, it is the only chance these workers have of bringing Marco Rubio around to their cause.
What we don’t know is what, if anything, Rubio has to say about the push for unionization at Amazon. Months after his colleague Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his support for workers in Alabama, Rubio has yet to broach the subject, despite years of talk about the crucial role once played by unions in safeguarding the rights of American workers and even signing statements like this one declaring that free markets “offer no guarantee that the gains will reach all participants.”
It is not as if Rubio has had nothing to say at all about Amazon in recent weeks. Like his fellow Senate Republicans Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, who have also been making vague pro-worker noise in recent years, he has spoken relentlessly about the need for conservatives to unite against “Big Tech” and censorship. …
Somehow the calls for oversight hearings and the enforcement of antitrust laws and the prose poems about the common good and a hundred other gestures that are presented to us as evidence of some kind of impending “realignment” in American politics always seem to stop short of a meaningful break with GOP orthodoxy. …”
While the ground underneath the party has shifted dramatically over the last decade, the Republican donor class, Conservatism, Inc. and especially the geriatrics in Congress who are hanging on due to record polarization are trying to proceed with business as usual. It is only a matter of time before the disconnect between Republican voters and Republican politicians starts to get interesting. The same is true of the Democrats who have attracted all of these White cosmopolitan, college educated Republican voters. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was part of the conspiracy against Donald Trump.
I’m encouraged by the polling which shows that 64% of Trump voters now say that their race is important to their identity. What is going to happen now that the demographic base of “True Conservatism” and the Republican establishment has eroded to the point where the sort of people who would like to maintain those taboos are dwarfed by those who are motivated by White grievance politics? Can you maintain the old taboos in the Republican Party with highly educated, cosmopolitan and modernist voters all concentrating in the Democratic Party as opposed to being much more evenly distributed? The political terrain is now much friendlier for White grievance politics and economic populism. The polls show that trust in the media is also at record lows and the Republican base is angrier than ever.
What kind of people can run and win against the old guard now that the electorate is sorted so much differently? Even Josh Hawley was launched into Republican politics for really a different time. Maybe the country wasn’t ready for David Duke in 1991, but someone else today could win? Could it really hurt to start testing the waters against all of these Reaganite throwbacks from the 1980s? How much love is there for all these senile Boomers in Congress who haven’t accomplished anything in twenty years?
PMC types are the enforcers of political correctness. The reason that Trump was able to break through in 2016 is because so many of those people who are like HR managers had shifted over to the Democrats. The Marjorie Taylor Greene situation is a reflection of their growing weakness in the GOP. We haven’t begun to see the full implications of this shift which is still in the future.
There is a working class Republican Party.
It just isn’t reflected yet in the Republican Congress, Conservatism, Inc., the donor class and the policy agenda. Donald Trump was lazy and never tried to change the composition of Congress or pushed to change the policy agenda to reflect the demographic shift among the Republican base.
“We are a working-class party now,” Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley tweeted at 10:53 p.m. Eastern time on election night in November. “That’s the future.” A few minutes later, Fox called Arizona for Joe Biden, beginning a string of reversals for Donald Trump and pointing toward a future quite different than the one Hawley had probably imagined when he posted. Hawley arrived in the Senate two years into the Trump era, and since then has pitched an agenda built around the concerns of the common man and woman. Sympathizing with cultural grievances, as Hawley does in fighting internet pornography, is something at which Republicans have been skilled for decades. Addressing the economic disadvantages of the less-well-off has been a blind spot. While Hawley himself has resisted mandatory increases in the minimum wage, his political world has been heating up recently, and it is changing his politics. When he announced in December that he planned to challenge the electoral-vote tally in the Senate, a rogue Walmart social media staffer attacked him as a “sore loser” via the company’s Twitter account. The company promptly apologized, but not before Hawley suggested to Walmart, “maybe you’d like to apologize for the pathetic wages you pay your workers as you drive mom and pop stores out of business.”
It took the election of Donald Trump in 2016 to show many Republicans that the left-behind were part of their constituency, maybe the most important part. With Trump’s kicking-and-screaming departure from the White House (an episode in which Hawley played a tragic supporting role), a party of upper–middle-class traditions and inclinations finds itself left alone with the working-class parts of Trump’s base, in a society where the deck is more stacked against the working class than it has been since the nineteenth century. The party’s survival depends on protecting the interests of these voters, and yet few Republicans have given much systematic thought to how they might do it. The task has fallen largely to three senators: Hawley, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Tom Cotton of Arkansas. …”
Donald Trump was terrible with endorsements.
Instead of bringing the Republican Party into alignment with “Trumpism,” Donald Trump the narcissist chose instead to destroy Jeff Sessions and endorsed Tommy Tuberville. The movement that Trump was leading was always held back by the massive flaws of the man himself. He also became hugely polarizing and LOST many of the Independent voters who supported him in the 2016 election.
Now that Trump is gone and is no longer the center of the universe, it is more of an opportunity for his supporters than a loss. They are the dominant element in the Republican Party through sheer numbers. They need to start launching primary challenges in the 2022 midterms.