The April issue of @reason is out. Subscribe now for access $15! Great story by @petersuderman on @HawleyMO‘s ‘toxic populism,’ @ENBrown on feminism & the carceral state, @lizzywol on how the @US_FDA stole your bucatini, plus my Q&A w @slsatel on opioids. https://t.co/jlz7MI82s4 pic.twitter.com/sV0F0pJIQv— Nick Gillespie (@nickgillespie) February 19, 2021
It is difficult to exaggerate how much of a political liability that Donald Trump’s deference to Conservatism, Inc., the GOP establishment and their hidebound neoliberal agenda was after he defeated them in the 2016 election. This was one of the biggest mistakes he made as president.
“Well, it’s on.
Donald Trump ended his post-presidency silence not with a blast at President Joe Biden, or at the Left, or at the House impeachment managers, but at the true enemy — Mitch McConnell.
The Trump forces aren’t forming a third party, but they do want to take over or — more accurately — maintain their current grip on the GOP, and McConnell is an obstacle. …
McConnell’s task, though, isn’t to rely on his emotive power to create a loyal mass army of McConnellists around the country, steeped in Senate procedure and ready to go to the mat for the Byrd rule. No, it is simply to work to block electorally poisonous, or at least risky, Trumpists from winning Senate primaries. …
Still, the gravamen of Trump’s anti-McConnell statement, making the case that the Kentucky Republican is a political disaster compared with the masterly Trump, is risible.
Republicans still strongly identify with Trump, but it’d be a mistake to let him dictate the party’s potential future leaders or its ultimate direction.”
Why wouldn’t you get rid of these people?
62% of the country is fed up with the status quo. They stood by and did nothing while BLM and Antifa burned down the country. They impeached Trump and don’t represent their own voters.
From our perspective, we had whipped these guys in the 2016 primary and given Trump a populist and nationalist mandate to move on from mainstream conservatism. We had whipped Hillary Clinton too. In the moment of victory though, Donald Trump inexplicably embraced these people, undermined his own coalition and made the call to advance their politically toxic agenda.
Donald Trump spent his political capital in 2017 on Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell’s agenda of health care and tax cuts. These two True Cons policy initiatives were respectively the two least popular pieces of major legislation advanced by either party in the last twenty-five years. Trump began to sink in the polls as he embraced these people and their agenda and move away from the populist and nationalist energy he had with him in the 2016 campaign when he won Independent voters. In the 2018 midterms, the Republican Party lost control of the House because the Democrats ran on health care and Trump voters who were with him on immigration voted to put Nancy Pelosi in charge of the House.
Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan sabotaged Trump every step of the way.
Here in Alabama, Mitch McConnell intervened in our Senate primary to replace Jeff Sessions and took down Roy Moore in December 2017, which put Doug Jones in the Senate and sabotaged the Trump agenda in 2018 by taking away a critical vote which gave his allies greater leverage.
After the House was lost in the 2018 midterms due to the unpopularity of Ryancare and the Trump tax cuts, there was zero chance of anything else moving through Congress. Mitch was content to spend the rest of Trump’s term stacking the federal judiciary with pro-business libertarian judges. As a result of this, Independent voters turned against Trump in the 2020 election due to his failure to deliver on his MAGA agenda. Finally, Mitch McConnell lost control of the Senate by insulting voters on Christmas with the $600 stimulus checks which was opposed by something like 75% of Georgia voters.
The True Cons wing of the Republican Party which is represented by Rich Lowry, Liz Cheney and Mitch McConnell is a massive electoral alabatross around the neck of Trump voters:
Trump voters are moderates on the environment. McConnell voters are the extremists.
Trump voters are the moderates on income inequality. McConnell voters are the extremists.
Trump voters are the moderates on health care. McConnell voters are the extremists.
Trump voters are the moderates on taxes. McConnell voters are the extremists.
We can continue to go down the list.
Virtually every issue that is a big electoral loser for the GOP is a policy preference or cultural sensibility of the True Cons wing and the Republican donor class. In contrast, Trump voters are populist voters who have only recently migrated to the Right from the Center in the 2016 election.
The Trump voters are the moderates in the GOP on social and economic issues. The McConnell voters are the libertarian fringe of the party. The Trump wing is typically working class and lower middle class and former Democrats and Indies. The McConnell wing is typically upper middle class.
The Trump voters (non-traditional Republicans) are toward the middle in the populist quadrant:
The American electorate is like a horseshoe:
The “Core Conservatives” (aka “Small Business Bourgeoisie”) and “Solid Liberals” (aka “Professional Bourgeoisie”) are the two poles that punch dramatically above their weight. These people are much more likely to be college-educated and well off than all other groups. They are doing a disproportionate share of the voting in our elections and have shaped both parties to their modernist tastes. Political participation dives off the charts as you approach the underclass.
As you go around the bend, Country First Conservatives, New Era Enterprisers and Market Skeptic Republicans are the “Heartland Working Class” and the Devout and Diverse Democrats, Disaffected Democrats and Opportunity Democrats are the “Hub City Working Class.” Generally speaking, there are blacks in the Heartland and White conservatives in the Hub Cities, but this is the overall structure of things. The MAGA voters (95% say the economic system is rigged) and Disaffected Democrats (99% say the economic system is rigged) are adjacent and share many of the same resentments. They are both strikingly immobile. They are angry townies who have lived in the same place most of their lives.
The managerial elite which lords it over the country is constantly stirring up racial and cultural polarization in order to keep all the subordinate groups below them divided and at each others throats. They are stoking a 24/7/365 race war and cultural war which keeps the current order in place and all the money flowing upward to their benefit. The politicians are bribed to cater to their cultural and economic interests. The bloated oligarchy grows larger and larger and the bottom grows angrier and angrier.
If Trump was smart (spoiler: he is not), he would finish killing off Conservatism, Inc. and alienate the libertarian billionaires who run the racket and the policy agenda and cede the pearl clutching suburbanites like David French to the Democrats. It would be much easier for Trump to expand his coalition through the working class and populist wing of the party by dumping political correctness and libertarian economics. Most people in this country are sick and tired of Rich Lowry and Turtle whose brand and policy agenda is dogshit even within the Republican Party.
Trump should do us all a favor and finish them off now that he holds such a commanding position. They are a 15% country club rump who have always stood in the way of what needs to be done. Disaffected Trump voters who were with him in 2016 but left in 2020 because he catered too much to these people and the sea of populist voters behind them will more than make up for their demise.
Note: I will continue to monitor the situation. I’m not really expecting anything to happen, but we will see what happens. Trump should focus on electing a Trumpist Congress though. The demographic base which used to sustain the GOP establishment no longer exists.