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GOP foot-shooting: Party’s elites sniff at “populism,” don’t realize they need, um, voters

October 31, 2016

My latest for USA Today:

Populism arises whenever ordinary people — the middle and working classes — get fed up with whatever policies detrimental to their interests they perceive the political, economic, and cultural elites have shoved down their throats to further their own interests. Right now that means virtual open borders, declining employment prospects, pointless wars in which they or their offspring are expected to be targets, and forcing their schools to let biological males use the girls’ bathroom.

What the Republican leadership doesn’t realize is that it needs populism. During the last 50 years the only two Republicans to win the presidency — Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan — were Establishment outsiders who rode in on waves of populist antagonism to the social disorder of the 1960s and the stagflation and American global weakness of the 1970s. (The Bushes don’t count: George H.W. Bush was a single-term Reagan coattail-rider, and George W. Bush had the Supreme Court to thank for squeaking into office.) Republicans need populism because they need voters. The Democrats, with their ideology of grievance-mongering and ever-expanding government benefits, have built-in constituencies: ethnic minorities, LGBTs, unions, and single women. The Republicans have trouble inspiring people to get to the polls.

Trump is the best thing that has happened to the Republican Party in nearly four decades.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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One Comment
  1. Lastango permalink

    I hope President Trump recognizes he must marginalize the Republican Establishment. If he tries to work with them they will obstruct, co-opt, seduce, and otherwise try to nullify his policies and his political base. The establishment camel belongs wholly outside the tent.

    Trump ought instead to turn towards the broad, nationalist constituency that wants to protect and preserve America. Everyone who doesn’t want to make the hard choices that requires is useless, or worse.

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