An Appeal to the Republican-Leaning Entrepreneurial, Enterprising, and Lucky White Christian Upper Middle Class of America
Your Jewish, African-American, Hispanic-American, and Asian American brothers and sisters do not need to hear this, so I address myself to you.
You and your predecessors have been the backbone of America’s Republican Parry since the Great Depression. Your predecessors did not give up hope and faith in the America of individual opportunity and the market economy during the Great Depression. They were always suspicious of oversocialism, overtaxation, overredistribution, overunionization, and overbureaucratization as pursued by Democrats using the Great Depression as a club to beat up those saying “wait a minute“ in response to policy proposals that advanced the interests of Democratic Party clients.
And so they, and with the passage of time you, became the backbone of the Republican Party in America: its funders, its local leaders, the subscribers to it periodicals, the soil in which its candidates would grow, the social millieu in which Republicans could be confident that they were good people and right on the issues.
And, with the election of Ronald Reagan, your predecessors won more than half the argument. And so America embarked on a special and different path from the North Atlantic social democracies which has led us to our current impasse.
It is now time to recognize that this special and different path was a mistake, which has injured you psychologically in the present and promises to injury you and your children materially in the future. It is not the policies of redistribution to the rich have made you less wealthy. You have, on balance, come out ahead. But you have come out ahead much less than the plutocrats who now lord it over you. And this has caused you deep psychic injury: the gap between your wealth and that of the plutocrats makes you feel like relative losers, as you are, and search for somebody to blame.
This psychological injury to you now is only psychological: if you were appropriately stoic, you would simply shrug it off. Of course, you are not still work, and cannot, but put that aside. The bigger problem now is that your willingness to blame people poorer and less lucky than you as “takers” has injured them.
But the biggest problem is in the future. Citizens United plus the plutocracy that has grown up under the aegis of Reaganite and neoliberal policies has created a world in which Republican politicians no longer need you. They need, instead, activist foot soldiers motivated by racial and religious grievances—in which your belief that America is a good place and the key is what you do rather than who you are has no place. They would like your money to run campaigns. But it is so hard to get. Phone after phone call. Banquet after banquet. And then more banquets and phone calls. It is much easier and cost-effective to flatter plutocrats.
Thus policies that are good for you are no longer policies that the politicians your support will advocate. Keeping your taxes low is no longer a priority—for adding in your state and local tax payments to your federal income tax base can provide funding offsets for benefits for plutocrats. Encouraging entrepreneurship and creative distraction is no longer a priority—not when the plutocrats, who are now the real funding source for the Republican Party, know well they are the ones who would be creatively destroyed by a more vibrant and entrepreneurial economy. And your wincing at open ethnic and religious bigotry makes you dangerous to have around in the age of base mobilization.
Take back what once was your party, if you still can.
If you cannot, start a new one: It only took six years in the post-Whig era to go from zero organization to winning a presidential election, and then followed the most glorious five years the Republican Party ever had.