Can Republicans Rebrand?
The Republican Party’s need to remake itself is universally understood. The current party cannot survive in a multicultural America where a whites-only election strategy can no longer win national elections.
The demise of whites-only politics actually goes even deeper. There are only a handful of states left where an election can still be won by telling white voters they need to stick together. Even most white people now find this idea disgusting. Of those, more states — like Arizona and North Carolina — are about to tip out.
So the party realizes that it will have to change. But can it? Can a party that is based on three core principles – anti-cooperation, white supremacy, and rich-supremacy – hope to escape its own history and regain relevance when these ideas no longer hold sway?
Party leaders hope so. One of the party’s rising hopefuls, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal recently wrote:
“At present, any reading of the headlines over the past week indicates that Republicans are fighting to protect the rich and cut benefits for seniors. It may be possible to have worse political positioning than that, but I’m not sure how.”
Jindal is right. Just now Republicans look downright senile.
But to simply diagnose the Republican problem as “party of the rich,” misperceives the real illness. Republicans have always been a party for the rich. That’s a perfectly viable strategy because most Americans aspire to be wealthy. They are perfectly willing to allow a party that they imagine will one day be for them. This explains the public's tolerance of the entirely unsupportable claim that the rich are “job creators.” (Of course, customers are the actual “job creators” but that’s an argument for another day.)Continued on the next page