Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Republican Class War

by Ramesh Ponnuru & Reihan Salam - December 20th, 2010 - National Review

There is now a class divide in the Republican party. Mitt Romney, the leading establishment candidate for the party’s presidential nomination in 2012, draws support from affluent, college-educated Republicans. Voters without college degrees, on the other hand, look more favorably on Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin — the potential candidates who most consistently rail against “elites” and “country-clubbers.”

This division is relatively new to the Republican party. In the past it was the Democrats who were riven by class conflict.

This is an interesting look at economic classifications and their impact on the Republican electorate. It is curious the article ignores the issues of free markets and individual liberty that are equally strong factors in the recent surge of enthusiasm in the party with the arrival of the Tea Party movement.

At one point in the article the writers actually make the point that Republicans will have to appeal to voters on the basis of government welfare for the middle class to be effective. So obviously these writers are more susceptible to the George W. Bush progressive wing of the Republican party than they are to the Ronald Reagan wing of pragmatic conservative-libertarians. It would be highly improbable they care at all for the extreme libertarian wing of Ron Paul or the paleo conservative wing of Pat Buchanan.

It is nevertheless an extremely valuable article simply for the research into the demographic characteristics of Republican voters. I don't concur that the war in the Republican Party is nearly so much about class as they argue, but there is no doubt that there is a war going on for leadership in the party.

To a great extent this war in the party reflects the war in the nation over how to get a handle on the nanny state dominance of welfare programs that are bankrupting the nation.


Post a Comment

<< Home