Friday, May 20, 2016

Democrats live and die with identity politics. (III)

As we have said, in the coming election Democrats plan to drown out bad economic news -- the party presides over low growth and declining median income -- by emphasizing identity politics, discussed here (Part I) and here (Part II).

But some conservatives argue identity politics isn’t the game changer progressives hope it will be.  The Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel writes:
In 2014, the GOP won in states they were expected to lose not with minority “outreach” but with “inclusion.” A recent GOP report derides “outreach” as “when the old order makes a decision and then calls the community leaders to inform them:”
Compare that with “inclusion,” when “the community is in on the discussion before the decision.” The report explains: In every campaign it studied, “successful Republicans built minority events into their schedules, created advisory groups from leaders in the communities, developed internships for young people,” and generally showed they wanted to be involved in these communities.
Also Fred Barnes, in the conservative Weekly Standard, quotes Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski saying Trump's speeches aren't "designed to speak to one demographic." Trump delivers the same message to everyone.

Barnes adds:
Gingrich's daughter Jackie Gingrich Cushman, a columnist for Creators Syndicate . . . noted that Trump has no interest in leading the Republican party. That's a positive trait. "Trump is interested in leading the nation—for all Americans. He happens to be a Republican, but his goal is to win the presidency—not to manage the party." When Trump says "America First," it means he's putting the country "above party, above other nations, and that's why voters love him."
Comment: Little question Trump has separated himself from the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan standard conservative agenda of smaller government (he wants more infrastructure spending), tax reductions “across the board” (he would raise taxes on super-rich), entitlement reform (he protects existing social security and Medicare benefits), free trade (renegotiate job-killing deals with China, Mexico), “comprehensive” immigration reform (favors sealed borders and deportation of illegals), an adventurous foreign policy (calls Iraq "big mistake"), and a no-exceptions, pro-life abortion stance (praises Planned Parenthood). Unlike most conservatives (Romney excepted), Trump supports universal health care.

Most of all, Trump slams the crooked elite. Trump has emerged as populist, not conservative. Trump makes it difficult for Democrats to call him a right-wing nut out to strip identity group victims of their security blankets -- big government goodies.

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