The real obstacle to Republicans reclaiming the majority in Congress isn’t the Democrats. It is their own obsolete ideology. It is the donors, think tanks, elderly politicians and the policy agenda. It is conservative elites who are pining to go back to the days of having a two party PMC system.
“After whispering a prayer to St Ronald Reagan, Paul Ryan rose to his feet, solemnly kissed his bible, Atlas Shrugged, and gave a speech at the Gipper’s presidential library in Simi Valley about the perils of personality cults.
Though the former Republican House speaker did not attack Donald Trump directly on Thursday, it was obvious who was on his mind.
‘If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality, or on second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere,’ Ryan said. And if the conservative movement fails, he warned, ‘it will be because we gave too much allegiance to one passing political figure, and weren’t loyal enough to our principles’. …
Virtually no national constituency exists for what impotent Ryan, hawkish Cheney and obnoxious Rep. Adam Kinzinger have to offer. However, consistent with broader trends, most younger white, Hispanic and lower-income Republicans lean populist in their economic preferences. Trump showed in 2016 that a socially conservative, economically liberal platform is the key to the future.
The problem is the GOP has captured the insurgent populist movement of 2016 and is working to denude it of its anti-establishment, oppositional character by convincing voters that with Trump as figurehead, something has fundamentally changed. But a closer look at the coterie of Ryan associates in Trump’s orbit shows that’s not really the case. The solution is as clear as understanding why Trump won in 2016, why he lost in 2020 and finding or creating leaders willing to carry forth the torch against their own party.”
These people don’t want to win.
They would rather vote for Joe Biden and lose to the Democrats than have a new Republican Party and policy agenda that shifts against the values and interests of their social class.
Working class voters of all races tend to be social conservatives and economic moderates. Right PMCs tend to be social liberals and economic conservatives. The disaffected wing are overwhelmingly the suburban mods or Right PMCs. The old Republican base are social conservatives and economic conservatives. The Trumpists are social conservatives and economic moderates. The post-Trump era GOP is held together by social conservatism and particularly rejection of cosmopolitanism and modernism.
Republicans should be trying to polarize the electorate along the lines of education, values and ideology and portraying the Democrats as the party of affluent, cosmopolitan, socially liberal, out of touch, college-educated elites. This would automatically put them as a huge advantage because this position would have far greater appeal to working class voters and non-voters. The Democrats could be split down the middle like the Labour Party and would devolve into something like the old Republican Party.
This strategy makes far too much sense though. Paul Ryan has a Better Way to create a governing majority like running on entitlement reform and his health care plan while invoking “principles.”