Right-Wing Populism Is the Way Forward

For too long, the Republican Party has squandered its political power. Although no one would know it from watching primetime news, enjoying professional sporting events, or opening social media, America remains a generally “center-right” country. Popular culture spews progressive values and liberal thought. As recently as 2019, however, Gallup found that a combined 72 percent of Americans would classify themselves as “conservative” or “moderate.” Along with that, the middle class continues to shrink as incomes at the top continue to rise.

Pew Research found that the middle class does not make a majority of the American population for the first time in over 50 years. The share of middle-class income has fallen from around 60 percent to nearly 40 percent during the same period. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, manufacturing made up nearly 30 percent of the nominal GDP in the 1950s, but now teeters around 10-15 percent. This is important because it suggests a significant part of the country among the working- and middle-class hold moderate to conservative views with no real representation. 

Both parties have neglected these Americans. Democrats have abandoned their pitch to working people in exchange for an appeal to identity politics and elites in Hollywood, academia, and Silicon Valley. Republicans have wasted decades drafting “free trade” deals and rebuilding countries around the globe while many in middle America lost their jobs and watched their communities crumble. Capitalism is a fantastic thing but why on earth should CEOs make millions of dollars in a single day while U.S. taxpayers subsidize their employees through food stamps and other social safety-net programs?

Moreover, why should a Chinese company, running on child labor, be able to sell goods in America with no tax while the small business down the street pays a third of its revenue in taxes? Why is it deemed righteous to send tens of billions of dollars to other countries but it is “liberal” to invest that same money in American education, health care, or public transit? Why do those at the top profit during a pandemic while those at the bottom have to choose between groceries and rent? These questions are simply not being addressed. 

The Republican Party should address these concerns by recommitting to the values of right-wing populism. It should emphasize being “America First” through policies such as securing the border, limiting annual immigration, keeping resources at home instead of sending them overseas, and promoting American industry. It should acknowledge that industrial jobs provide stability for the economic and social fabric of the country.

Politicians tout their “experience” and “accomplishments” as reasons for reelection. But anyone who has lived in working-class America knows that the leadership of the last 30 years has failed.

The Republican Party should protect the American way of life by creating safe neighborhoods through supporting the military, law enforcement, and the exercise of the Second Amendment while promoting Judeo-Christian values of being pro-life and pro-family. Liberty is crucial for the republic’s survival, but it is just as important for children to grow up in stable homes and be taught the difference between right and wrong. Republicans should reject corruption and refuse to be influenced by big tech companies and Wall Street. They must stop trying to satisfy social media giants, multinational companies, and pharmaceutical companies and rather fight to protect the free speech rights of American citizens on their platforms, ensure their constituents continue to have quality jobs in their neighborhoods, and address the over-prescribed drugs that are addicting their constituents.

Common people are the ones who put Republicans in office, not the elite, and their policies should reflect that. “Joe Smith,” who has an opioid-addicted wife and recently lost his job, couldn’t care less that a school was rebuilt in a country around the world that he can’t even pronounce. He does not even have the basic internet capability to watch the Netflix documentary where the American elite are lecturing him on identity politics and his “privilege.” He is just focused on having enough money to feed his little girl and figuring out why the closest rehab facility is an hour away and at full capacity for the next three months. This is an all-too-familiar story for many. 

It is as if the ruling class is completely deaf to the cries of normal people. Politicians tout their “experience” and “accomplishments” as reasons for reelection. But anyone who has lived in working-class America knows that the leadership of the last 30 years has failed.

Republicans want to play by the old rule book that the Democrats have long abandoned. As Republicans worry about “procedure,” Democrats plan to abolish the filibuster, get rid of the Electoral College, and pack the court system while lecturing us about the Constitution as they shove their radical agenda down the throats of everyday Americans. It is no longer acceptable for Republicans to be “Democrat-Lite” and slowly cede ground to the Left. That is why now, more than ever, a new right-wing must rise and keep the liberal mob from running this country into the ground. America is worth defending and it is time for a new generation of patriots to fight the progressive movement that is attempting to take over the country.

President Trump has significantly changed the direction of the Republican Party but he will not always be in office. If the next phase of the party returns to free trade and wasteful regime change wars, the party will die forever—and deserve it. In decades past, before Trump, working people would have blindly thrown their support to Democrats and Republicans would never bother addressing many of these issues. The times are changing and it is past time the Republican Party unapologetically declares itself the party of normal people and governs like it wants their support. 

About Ely Osborne

Ely Osborne is Chairman of the West Virginia College Republicans

Photo: Getty Images

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