Here’s a very good article I read in National review on this subject.
The public has never fully trusted Republicans to advance the economic interests of the middle class rather than those of the rich, and that problem may be getting more acute. That’s the reason Republicans never became the country’s majority party after the Democrats lost that status. It’s the reason Mitt Romney beat President Obama by only one point in the exit polls on the question of who would better handle the economy. It’s the reason Obama found it so easy to convince 53 percent of the electorate that Romney’s policies generally favor the rich. It’s part of the reason Romney and other Republicans have done so poorly among Hispanics, young people, and single women, and sometimes, as in the election just finished, failed to motivate blue-collar whites to vote in great numbers.
If Obama’s second term is sufficiently disastrous, Republicans may bounce back without having to solve this problem. To achieve lasting success, though, they will have to find a way to make a plausible case that conservative policies will yield tangible benefits for most people. That means, first, that they will have to devise policies with the actual circumstances of today in mind. So, for example, they will have to rethink an approach to taxes that has been frozen in 1981 for too long. Across-the-board cuts in income-tax rates worked politically at that time, but for many years now, middle-class families have been paying more in payroll taxes than in income taxes.
Second, Republicans will have to communicate the positive difference their policies will make in the lives of most people. For a major political party, they are surprisingly inconsistent about telling people about the payoff from their proposals. Romney’s policy advisers, like John McCain’s in 2008, surely believed that their candidate’s platform would increase wages. Neither candidate did much to share the news with voters (although the Romney campaign in its closing weeks sporadically made the point).
Giving this advice to Republicans strikes some people as equivalent to telling them to drink up a lake and stand on their heads: The project is impossible.
Many on the Right have an anathema for engaging in class warfare. It should be embraced and turned on the Democrats.
Tags: Middle Class