[From “Can Republicans Maintain a Conservative-Populist Alliance?”]
Henry Olsen thinks a conservative-populist alliance is durable.
Here is what I would say in response:
•I would distinguish between social conservatives and business conservatives. The True Cons crowd which lives in the wealthy suburbs voted for Joe Biden and Republicans down ballot in 2020. They are going to continue to peel away in future elections because ultimately they care more about virtue signaling and their modernist and cosmopolitan values than any policy preference. After Trump catered to them for four years and gave them massive tax cuts, deregulation, military spending and their libertarian judges, they still voted for Joe Biden.
•As these former Republican establishment voters shift to the Democrats, Trump and the Republicans will inevitably be forced to compensate by winning over a greater share of working class voters toward the Center on the other side of the Republican coalition. The party will have to become more populist than it is today to stay viable.
•White racial attitudes are significantly harder in 2021 than in 2017 after everything that has happened since the George Floyd riots and the political, corporate and cultural establishment embracing the new definition of antiracism.
•The policy agenda cannot remain the same in light of the resorting of the electorate.
In four years, I think we will look back on the 2016-2024 period as a transition period. The Democrats are being gentrified like Washington, DC and are becoming the party of woke professionals.