Monday, February 03, 2014
Victor Davis Hansen gives us a populist set of talking points for Republicans.
On almost every contemporary issue there is a populist, middle-class argument to be made against elite liberalism. Yet the Republican class in charge seems ossified in its inability to make a counter-argument for the middle class. Never has the liberal agenda been so vulnerable, a logical development when bad ideas have had five years to prove themselves as very bad ideas. ...
On illegal immigration and amnesty.
We know the entry of 11 million illegal aliens depresses the wages of the poor and entry-level working class. Illegal immigration overwhelms state services, and that too hurts citizens most in need of help. The lower-middle classes do not have low-paid nannies, gardeners, and house-keepers....We also know that cheap labor in the shadows benefits corporate business, eager for low-wage laborers. So how hard is it for a Republican simply to say, “I oppose illegal immigration because (1) it is illegal. It undermines the sanctity of the law and discriminates against the law-abiding waiting in line to enter the U.S. legally. (2) It benefits corporate grandees at the expense of working people. (3) It is driven by self-serving elites of the ethnic-grievance industry to enhance their own advantage, rather than to help poor folks struggling to find decent wages and schools. Illegal immigration, in short, is the most illiberal issue of our time....
Fracking and horizontal drilling help the middle class. Stopping them on federal lands or banning Keystone makes the lower classes pay for the pipe dreams of the upper class. The Berkeley Sierra Club professor doesn’t worry whether he can find a job welding on a pipeline. He does not drive along the Westside 50 miles to work and so cares little about the price of gas for his third-hand pick-up. It is about 70 degrees year round in Menlo Park, so it is easy to jack power bills up to subsidize wind and solar, when you don’t need to survive 105 degree temperatures in Bakersfield.
How hard it is for Republicans to say to liberals, “I accuse! The wealthy have their security details, most of them armed. The underclass has access to illegal weaponry as the armed crime sprees in a Detroit or Chicago attest. Why then go after the middle class, who neither outsource their security nor break the law? Before we issue sweeping edicts aimed at the law-abiding, let us disarm all the security guards of Hollywood and Washington, D.C., and put away for good the criminals who use illegal firearms to hurt the innocent.”
Obamacare is a gift to the old and affluent, who use subsidized health care from the young and poor. It is the greatest tax on the youthful cohort in the history of the republic at a time when student debt already exceeds $1 trillion. How liberal is that? Or for that matter, how liberal were colleges to up their annual tuition rates higher than inflation,
We talk about fairness. Do men and women make the same on the president’s own staff? Why does Kobe Bryant make so much and some of his gifted colleagues make so little in comparison? Does Johnny Depp really need $40 million a year when the Hollywood sound tech cannot afford a cottage in South Central L.A.? Did not the Malibu grandees hear their president say that they did not build their film careers, and at some point long ago had made enough money?
Yes, let us all hail diversity and insist that it be applied across the board. Cannot California find a senior elected leader other than Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, and Nancy Pelosi? How diverse, given California’s trumpeted diversity, are three elderly multimillionaire women, with hyper-capitalist spouses, who live within commuting distance of each other in the Bay Area? Should the United States Postal service base correct its current labor profile by hiring in accordance with ethnic percentages within the population? Should Asians depart from UC Berkeley so more whites, blacks, and Latinos might enroll commensurately with their percentages in the population? Should the NFL have quotas for non-African-Americans, to give others a chance ...
Read the whole thing.