Reviews | Josh Hawley: The former GOP is dead. A new GOP must listen to workers.



Josh Hawley, a Republican, represents Missouri in the US Senate.

The old Republican Party is dead. It’s been languishing for years now, and this month’s midterm results are the final blow. If Republicans learn nothing else from this election, they should learn as much.

As frustrating as the election results are, the death of the former GOP is no cause for mourning. It just means it’s time for Republicans to forge something new — a party that truly represents the cultural backbone of this nation: working Americans.

Many Republicans are ready to learn all the wrong lessons from this cycle. Over the past week, we’ve heard that this election is about nothing more than “candidate quality” or voter turnout.

Bad. The problem is not primarily tactics; the problem is the background. Over the past two years, the Republican establishment in Washington has capitulated issue after issue, caving in to the Democrats on the Second Amendment and on the left’s radical climate agenda (“infrastructure”). These Republican politicians sided with Big Pharma on insulin and advocated lower prices on our competitors overseas.

Then they wonder why working-class independents are unenthusiastic about voting Republican.

For decades, Republican politicians have been singing a familiar tune. Economically, they cut taxes on big business and talked about changing Social Security and Medicare—George W. Bush even tried to partially privatize Social Security in 2005. In the name of “growth these same Republicans supported a ruinous trade. policies – such as China’s admission to the World Trade Organization – that have collapsed American industry and depressed American wages.

This tax and trade agenda has gutted too many American cities by shipping jobs overseas. This has made it nearly impossible to raise a family on one income and find a well-paying job that doesn’t require a college degree. Our trade deficit with China has cost this country 3.7 million good jobs, while a crisis of drug overdose deaths – especially among working Americans – has ravaged many of the same communities that have suffered the most. of deindustrialization. All of this has made it harder to stay rooted in your home town or region. This is not a hit record.

Republican politicians have frequently advocated higher immigration levels, and four years ago pushed for soft “sentence reform” on crime. They didn’t do anything on Big Tech. This disc does not attract workers. On the contrary: it repels them. If the Republicans want to be in the majority, it’s time to change course.

Republicans will only achieve the generational victories they crave when they accept this reality: They must persuade a critical mass of working-class voters that the GOP truly represents their interests and protects their culture. The red wave failed to land in part because voters who voted for Barack Obama and later backed Donald Trump — voters who likely disapprove of Joe Biden and the Democrats’ agenda — chose to stay home.

Republicans must win over these voters. We will not be in the majority without them. It means waking up to what interests them. Work, family and culture are the touchstones of meaning for workers across the country. They must form the basis of a new party program.

We can start by stopping the bleeding. We no longer speak of great bargaining which accelerates illegal immigration. Gone is the liberalization of the US trade agenda, which makes us more dependent on foreign adversaries. No more playing around with social security under the guise of “rights reform”. This should all be clear enough.

But beyond that, it’s time to develop proactive policies. No nation has ever become strong by consuming things that others make. We need an economy that produces essential goods here in this country and creates well-paying jobs for workers. That means tariffs to favor American industry, local content requirements to relocate manufacturing, and unchaining American energy producers. That means new antitrust laws for Big Tech that will break up monopolies like Google and restore competition to the marketplace. And while we’re at it, we should start moving federal agencies like the Departments of Energy, Interior, and Agriculture to Central America. It is high time that pampered decision-makers face the real consequences of their decisions, economic or otherwise.

We need explicit support in our tax code for marriage and family, like a parent tax credit for working families. We should enact new protections for parents to ensure they control their children’s education and medical care, such as a parent’s bill of rights. And families can only thrive if they are secure. That’s why we need 100,000 new police on the streets, spread across every US state.

Right now, the Republican Party is at a crossroads. Its leaders can, of course, attempt to resuscitate the dead consensus of offshoring, amnesties and “free trade”. This is the way to further losses.

A resurgent Republican party must be very different. It must provide good jobs and good lives, not just higher stock prices for Wall Street. And it must place American workers at its heart and take them for who they are, rather than treating them as resources to be exploited or eliminated.

This is the path to victory. This is the path to national renewal.


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