I used to laugh at the idea of a multiracial, working class, populist Republican Party. I thought there is no way that something like that could work. I’m not so sure now though.
“Republicans, long reliant on big business and the rich, see a post-Trump future centered on working class white, Hispanic and Black voters, top GOP officials tell Axios.
Why it matters: This is a substantial shift, born of necessity and the post-Trump reality. It would push Republicans further away from the interests of corporate America and traditional conservative ideas like entitlement reform.
Top Republican officials tell Axios that if the party is going to survive, it needs to copy Donald Trump’s fixation on blue-collar voters in 2016 and working-class and minority voters in 2020 — and ditch, or at least downplay, allegiance to big business. …”
Here are a few reasons why I have changed my mind:
1.) The long term trend is that the electorate is resorting by education. College educated voters are shifting to the Democrats. Working class voters are shifting to the Republicans.
2.) The Republican Party continues to attract more downscale and working class voters. As all of these upper middle class, college educated suburbanites with modernist values shift to the Democrats, mainstream conservatism is retreating within the Republican Party.
3.) The demographic base of the GOP establishment is simply collapsing within the Republican Party. The True Cons move would be to impeach Trump. It is down to a lowly 16% of Republican voters.
4.) The professional managerial class (PMCs) are concentrating in the Democratic Party. It was much more evenly distributed between the two parties ten years ago and even more so twenty years ago. This is the class which has traditionally maintained and enforced political correctness and fended off populist challengers. It is being demographically replaced within the Republican Party.
5.) In the wake of the Trump presidency, we see a clear 70/30 split within the Republican Party across a range of issues. We see an unmistakable spike in the salience of social identity issues like race, religion and culture. The dominant wing of the party is now the populist and paleocon wing.
6.) Republican voters are now far more moderate on economics than was the case when Mitt Romney won the nomination in 2016. The party is now split down the middle on economics. It is united by social identity issues like hatred of the mainstream media.
7.) Corporate America is pulling its financial support from the Republican Party. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is realigning to the Democrats. Money talks more than anything.
8.) The reason why I am not a Republican voter is because of the policy agenda. It is not populist or nationalist enough for my tastes. It is too tilted toward Reaganism.
9.) Wealth redistribution is gaining traction and becoming much more popular within the Republican Party. Look at how $2,000 checks poll in states like Georgia.
Now, you might look at this and say that this is true of White voters. It is true that the overall trend is that White working class voters are shifting to the Republicans and White college educated voters to the Democrats. There is no reason to believe that non-White voters might do the same.
Where did the MAGA voters come from?
Everyone knows that MAGA voters are literally “white supremacists.” There is no way that non-White voters and MAGA voters could ever be aligned in the same political party. Most of these Trump voters were Obama voters though less than a decade ago. They were DLWC voters.
In the 2016 election, Donald Trump won 25% of the DLWC vote. This is why he flipped the Rust Belt. He won the populist voters who are socially conservative, economically moderates 3 to 1 instead of 2 to 1 like Mitt Romney. He lost the 2020 election because he lost Independents.
If you look at voters by their values, beliefs and priorities instead of by their race, you get a much better idea of why they vote the way that they do. Black and Hispanic voters, for example, do not seem to be voting on the basis of immigration. It is not even one of their top ten issues. Health care and entitlements are issues that resonates far more strongly with these two groups.
It is clear why Donald Trump won the 2016 election. Whoever was running his campaign at the time came up with the radical idea of trying to appeal to disaffected blocs of swing voters in the middle of the electorate instead of the old “fusionist” coalition of conservative geriatrics.
Why couldn’t the Republicans try to do the same thing with this group? It is gospel in the media that this group is radically different from the MAGA voters, but actually they are more similar to MAGA voters than Free Marketeers. Something like 5% of MAGA voters believe in the fairness of the U.S. economic system. 1% of Disaffected Democrats believe the U.S. economic system is not rigged to favor powerful interests. These two groups of voters are two sides of the same working class coin.
Wokeness is a trick that keeps two large groups of voters who have lived in the same place most of their lives and who have seen their communities decline by forces beyond their control and who have found the political system equally unresponsive divided and conquered by Corporate America. This is why they are pushing the systematic racism and white supremacy conspiracy so hard as of late.
Note: I’m pessimistic that the GOP would try to expand their coalition this way by leaning into economic populism. This makes far too much sense.