Romney, The White Working Class, And The Limits Of “Economism”
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"I can't believe I'm losing to this guy.” This Presidential election has the Republican Party feeling like Michael Dukakis contemplating George H.W. Bush in the famous Saturday Night Live skit.

Yes, all the recent polls are within the margin of error and anything could happen. And, yes, some pundits have bravely predicted a Mitt Romney victory—with Michael Barone [Going out on a limb: Romney beats Obama, handily] perhaps the most surprising, no doubt because he has finally counted up America’s still-dominant white voting bloc.

But the GOP presidential contender should not be in this mess. Take the forecasting model from the University of Colorado. In contrast to many other polls, it stresses state-level economic data. It has accurately predicted the winner of every Presidential election since it was first developed in 1980. It projects over 330 electoral votes for the Republican challenger.

There's also unemployment. Only Franklin D. Roosevelt was able to be re-elected with unemployment this high. Republicans have repeatedly argued that the jobs crisis alone should guarantee Obama's defeat.

Finally, it's a truism of that if an incumbent cannot crack a 50% favorable rating in the polls close to an election, he’s sunk. In poll after poll, even in the battleground states, Obama fails to obtain a favorable majority.

What is actually happening: the decades’ long effort to elect a new people is finally coming to fruition. The old rules no longer apply. Barack Obama can afford to lose a few swing states, whereas Romney has no room for error. Even his Southern flank is weak, with states like Florida and Virginia still very much in play. Even a full-scale surrender on immigration issues won't save the GOP. Hispanics, especially recent immigrants, are simply more liberal.

Note also that the Democrats practice their own form of “inreach” to their white supporters, especially university students and single white women. Leftist social issues like gay marriage and abortion may not be winners nationwide, but Obama's strong stands motivate the high-income, highly-informed, and highly-motivated white liberals in the major cities. Even the Democrats' supposed white working class hero Joe Biden is saying “transsexual rights” (???!!) is now the “civil rights issue of our time.” This alliance between a minority of socially liberal whites and overwhelmingly Leftist ethnic minorities makes the electoral math for Republicans increasingly difficult.

In contrast, Romney's vision is “economism”—trying to defeat the president solely with wonkery about taxes and unemployment (but not of course mentioning an anti-unemployment immigration moratorium). Romney is not even running the implicit white campaign of George W. Bush in 2004, when the war rallied patriotic white voters—he is  running an implicit implicit white campaign. He could have forced Obama onto the defensive on a host of issues, including (of course) immigration, anti-white racial preferences, trade, and social concerns. But he has been cautious, characteristically, to the point of cowardice. The fact that he is still winning a solid majority of the white vote shows the deep disgust that average Americans have with the Obama regime.

Unfortunately, the new post-America has reached the point where who is the better economic manager may no longer matter.

Take Nevada. While ostensibly a swing state, it is all but guaranteed to go Democratic despite having the worst economy in the country. The housing crisis, fueled by mass immigration and Bush's mortgage Hispandering, has devastated the state. Unemployment is well over 11 percent, and has actually increased considerably from when Barack Obama took office.

But the state's high concentration of Hispanics combined with blacks means that there is a large percentage of the population simply beyond economic appeals. In fact, Hispanic voters in Nevada may even flip a Senate seat to the Democrats, despite the fact that their candidate is under investigation for corruption and wasn't even expected to be competitive.

A story from Illinois's 2nd Congressional District illustrates what is happening to the country as a whole. Incumbent Jesse Jackson Jr. has been on medical leave since June for a variety of “health issues.” This hasn't stopped him from hitting the bars with his friends, although he hasn't held a single campaign event or public appearance. His wife is sticking by his side, despite his past adultery (with a blonde bikini model) which is now public knowledge. This might have something to do with the several thousand dollars a month his campaign pays her “consulting firm.” Jackson is also the subject of an ongoing federal probe into his questionable finances.

But there is absolutely no chance that Republicans can make this race even close. Jackson has an absolute majority in the polls in a three-way race, despite doing no campaigning.

This might have something to do with the fact that Republican candidate Brian Woodworth, a white lawyer trying to represent a majority black, urban county, wants to win voters by telling them “Government needs to get off the backs of businesses.” Even more exciting, he is challenging not just the laws of political reality, but mathematics itself by claiming, “I am not looking to protect the “1%”; I will be working to provide more opportunity for every American to become part of the “1%.”

This economism doesn't seem to be doing much good, even though unemployment in both Illinois and Chicago is worse than in the country as a whole.

Black and Hispanic identity politics make increasingly areas of the country essentially immune to elections. As in South Africa's one-party state, it doesn't matter what the economy is doing or what policies are pursued – after the nominations, everyone knows who is going to win the election. Regardless of how bad unemployment is in Stockton, California or Detroit, Michigan, Republicans are not going to win on a platform of tax cuts for the rich and pious platitudes about a Constitution written by hated white males.

In swing districts and swing counties, minority voters can tip the balance to a liberal minority, with each new immigrant or refugee expressing their tribal loyalties at the ballot box essentially disenfranchising Americans trying to make an informed choice.

Whether Romney wins or loses, the Republican Party has to make a fateful choice if it isn't to become extinct. The Democrats have written off the white working class. It has nothing to offer those left behind by mass immigration, outsourcing, racial preferences, and continuous cultural warfare. The GOP could gain a new lease on life and increase their share of white vote with a populist appeal to American workers. It potentially could form a new alliance to save not just the Party, but the country.

But Romney/ Ryan offered the white working class nothing. And, unfortunately, Conservatism Inc. is already at work condemning “New Economic Nationalism” and invoking the  specter of Patrick J. Buchanan. Conservatism Inc., and its neoconservative controllers, would rather lose than associate with him. Conservative Inc.’s reigning ideology and the aspirations of the Republican Party to win national elections are, ultimately, irreconcilable.

On its current course, the Republican Party will probably continue its doomed effort to pursue minority voters, urged on by self-interested consultants, brain-dead movement “intellectuals,” and liberals eager to see it commit suicide.

But the opinion polls from Ohio carry a message that goes beyond the election and the fate of the man from Bain Capital.

For the white working class and the Republican Party, it is "Join—or Die".


James Kirkpatrick [Email him] travels around the United States looking for a waiter who can speak English.

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