Class Warfare for Republicans:
Who’s angry and ready to raise their raise their pitchforks? Try the self-employed, who are now, according to Gallup, the large constituency most alienated from the present regime. Even the hapless Romney picked up their support against Obama.
The new core constituency of the GOP can best be identified as the enterprise base. They include small property owners, mainly in the suburbs, those who are married or aspiring to be so. They are more suburban than urban, and likely to work for someone else or themselves as opposed to working for the state. Combine the top half of private employees, over 50 million people, add some 10 million self-employed and you get to a serious economic, and political, base.
This group also includes many immigrants, particularly Asians, a constituency that should be tilting GOP but still isn’t. They, too, increasingly live in the suburbs, own homes as well as business. And rarely do they benefit from the prevailing crony capitalism.
Sarah Palin represented Kotkin’s enterpriser constituency better than any other recent national Republican candidate, and look at what happened to her. Kotkin is right about the political interests of middle class businesspeople. The problem for the middle class is that the Left understands their interests better than they themselves do and goes all-out to fight them.
7 thoughts on “Kotkin on Middle-Class Class Politics”
This is why she had to be destroyed. She represented a threat to TPTB to upset the gravy train. One can only wish she had truly gone rogue and stopped letting “them” limit her access to the press that was favorable to her.
I have been involved with local government and was very hopeful about Sarah Palin. She was destroyed, not by the Democrats but by the McCain campaign. Their alleged “Republican women” who completed wrecked her introduction to the media. Chief among them was Nicole Wallace who put Palin on with Katy Kouric, a personal friend of Wallace, with no preparation. She accused Palin of “going rogue” when Palin and her husband did not want to concede Michigan and wanted to campaign there.
In late October, campaign aides criticized Palin. One unnamed McCain aide said Palin had “gone rogue”, placing her own future political interests ahead of the McCain/Palin ticket, directly contradicting her running mate’s positions and disobeying directions from campaign managers. In response to reports of dissension within the McCain-Palin campaign, Wallace issued a statement to both Politico and CNN saying: “If people want to throw me under the bus, my personal belief is that the most honorable thing to do is to lie there.”
Palin must have been planning to move to Michigan and run for office.
Nicole Wallace is still appearing as a voice for Republicans.
Kotkin’s reality testing has to be considered suspect. The Republican Party does not give an obese rodent’s glut‘s about the interests of the “enterprise base” or those who comprise it.
The treatment of Sarah Palin by the Institutional Republican Party, and their current support of Democrat efforts to demonize her and all who do not actively oppose her was only one sign. Look at the record of the last 20 years. Name one, just one, issue in that time when the Republican Party stood steadfast against the Democrats, and did not have either one of the leadership or the party as a whole yield and give victory to the Left. They used to at least take turns as to who would betray the base. Now it is simply the “leadership” of the party as a whole.
The Institutional Republicans have a good gig. They play token opposition to the Left to fool Conservatives and moderates; but the Governing Class of both parties make sure that their life of privilege remains far above our existence. Their antipathy is to those they supposedly represent, not their buddies on the Left.
Look at the parties from the point of view of the members of that “enterprise base”. They know from experience that despite claims of being supportive, where the rubber meets the road, Republicans are in a 4-wheel drift. They know that Democrats are hostile to them, but they also know that they are corrupt enough that they can be paid off in one form or another. Especially for the Asians noted, they come from places where authoritarian governments interfere at will, where the rule of law is fictional, and guanxi, patronage, and outright bribery describe relationships with the government. In other words, the ideal Democrat society. In the absence of anyone fighting on their side; they have a choice of being a target, or trying to buy in with the Democrats.
Until there is a real SECOND party in this country, this will not change. The odds of electoral change bringing this about before a tipping point is reached are long.
The key phrase from SB above is “governing class”. The political parties have long ceased to be true oppostional advocates except for themselves as members of an elite group whose statist interests are in direct conflict with the interests of any citizen who wishes to live his life as he sees fit.
The utterly grotesque “secret” is that the more power and control they accumulate, the worse things get. Our economy, and society in general, is now a massively overextended ponzi scheme which is rapidly running out of new suckers to finance its committments.
The blunt fact is that our “governing class” doesn’t know what it’s doing, and never has.
I would love to agree with the previous comments, because I clearly share ideas with these people, but I just can’t. It’s not about content. It’s about content to us, so we fall into the trap of thinking that this is true for the rest of the possible center-right coalition for elections. It isn’t. It’s only 20-30%. And those aren’t in entire agreement anyway.
Consider the problems finding a candidate to represent the entrepreneur class. If you are too good at this entrepreneurship stuff and grow your company into something big, you can be painted as an out-of-touch rich person who does not understand the little guy. (Ignore for a moment the actuality of the Romney positions – that was less than half of what killed him. How he could be portrayed was a bigger factor.) Yet if you don’t, you become victim of the he’s-just-a-guy-who-makes-pizza trap. The media will allow no window there of course, but the public does, if a person is persuasive enough. Yet it is still not a lot of wiggle room.
Next, the candidate has to have some of both the motivational speaker and the serious explainer about him or her. Not impossible, but difficult.
Perhaps we should ask – who governs?
How are we actually constituted from a descriptive sense as opposed to the legacy prescriptions of the document of 1789 and it’s amendments?
Who has power?
Do the answers to these questions point to our 537 elected politicians?
Who governs the matter of NYCs symbolic Foreign Policy and Muslim “Community Relations”?
For instance – when an obscene provocation calling itself a mosque was to be put on the site of mass murder – who decided?
The Mayor, Governor, Police, President?
NO. Not them.
The People? NO.
Richard Haas of the NY Council on Foreign Relations said “La”. NO. Which was the end of the matter – we may hope.
Because CFR and Mr Haas are not fools…and fear the people. Had ground been broken it may have been the digging of many graves.
So I return to…who governs?
If the people in this matter had a vote…what was it? What is the nature of the Peoples Power in this case? And from that …what are the peoples actual options?
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