Given the abysmal state of the economy and President Biden’s unpopularity, with few exceptions, Republicans took a serious beating in the recent US midterm elections.
Whatever the Republican strategy has been, that strategy is not working. It’s not working because former President Donald Trump is polarizing and an increasingly unpopular figure. His influence is leading the party to further electoral defeats. Please think. The guy just won 2016 single handedly against an unpopular candidate. Since then his electoral success has been zero. Even as he has actively engineered some GOP defeats, such as the Georgia Senate runoff in 2020, his temper is tempered. And, of course, his preferred candidates for the 2022 midterms were terrible. With rare exceptions, they have lost their race. Since when are Republican voters so enamored with losers?
That said, the GOP has a problem that runs deeper than Trump (though it may be worse under Trump). It’s this: Republicans don’t stand for anything today, and on rare occasions they do to do Stand for something, that something sad. From protectionism to anti-immigration diatribes, from government engineer pay holidays to extended child tax credits, and from threats to punish big tech and impose industrial policies, to cries of “free-markets are really bad,” the party is in an intellectual quagmire — like A fact that contributes to the current chaos politically.
Few serious intellectuals on the right recognize this problem. here National ReviewPhilip Klein on this subject.
To be sure, it probably started with Trump, who has never been committed to free markets, in fact with very mild exceptions (he gets more credit than he really deserves for his economic policies, but that’s a topic for another day). His election and policy positions effectively freed Republicans and many conservatives to openly embrace statist policies that they’ve always wanted to embrace because, you know, it’s hard to fight for a proper budget, fend off special-interest groups, and consistently stand up for the little ones. Govt
However, until Republicans wake up and realize that this crusade against “market fundamentalism” isn’t working for them—if only because it’s a sloppy, lazy, and economically ignorant agenda—they’ll continue to scoff and vote even after Trump is gone. will lose bye
Now I have no part in any party. My allegiance has always been to classical liberal principles such as constitutionally limited government and free, entrepreneurial markets. Until a few years ago, the economic policy changes I advocated were more likely to come from some Republicans. I don’t know what I believe anymore because both sides are cheering for more government and more command and control of the economy. But for the record, I’ll put it out there that if the Democrats ever decide they want to be the party of opportunity again (and some are) and the Republicans want to be the party of economic freedom while continuing to concur on the left, I’ll work with them. And cheer them on as they push for more supply-side freedom, and therefore economic growth and opportunity for all.
One last thing: obviously I crave it all Teams will discover the wonders of the market economy. Here’s a beautiful truth: the same classical-liberal policies that will promote market-generated prosperity will also promote many other worthwhile goals for Americans, such as reducing crime, and building strong families, civil societies, and more.
But part of the classical-libertarian package is also a rejection of hostility to immigration. We have many reasons to welcome immigrants to this country, regardless of their skills and education level. Brian Kaplan and many others have made the economic case better than I have.
There are many moral and economic arguments about how much immigration we need and how to reform the system. But recently, the arguments from the right are not about immigration but about immigrants. Migrants, especially low-skilled migrants, are often spoken of in offensive and demeaning ways, as a class, revealing a fundamental ignorance of what it means to uproot oneself from one country and move to another.
Immigrating to this country in 1999 was the hardest thing I ever did. I didn’t do it lightly. Leaving one’s family, friends, home country and culture to start anew in a new country is never an easy decision. I was lucky and my life would not have been in danger if I had been in France. But I am sure that those who leave to escape tyranny or poverty leave a piece of their heart behind.
It was hard to let go, but the reality is that it was much harder than I thought it would be. I had friends, but I was alone. I was relatively poor compared to what I had left. I miss my family more than I thought. I even missed French culture, although when I left, I thought I had an insufferable dislike for it. Again, I was one of the lucky ones. When I arrived I had a job and a place to live. Also, as great as the cultural difference between France and America is, that gap is smaller for some immigrants who come to the United States from radically different cultural and religious backgrounds.
To bear this suffering alone and to have the courage and intelligence to uproot myself, I believe, deserves more respect than the derogatory and baseless accusations many Americans have made against immigrants over the past seven years. We immigrants are not angels, and some are truly terrifying. But so are the tribals. However, what sets us apart and should make Americans happy is that we came here and decided to leave our homeland because we see something remarkable about the United States—ironically, something remarkable that many Native Americans no longer see. All of us – native born and immigrants – will be celebrating Thanksgiving with a turkey next week (which is a special promise for me because I really don’t like turkey!).
Immigrants do not claim or deserve special treatment; One chance is enough for their American dream. Many of them, I’m sure, still come here even though they believe they’ll never get welfare (that’s a good idea, a topic for another day). These are debates to be had, but I urge Republicans and conservatives, especially as they consider dumping Trump once and for all, to reconsider their attacks on immigrants and engage in a serious conversation on immigration reform.
Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center and a syndicated columnist for Creators.