Republicans Should Become the Party of the Working Class

Scott Alexander just published a piece titled A Modest Proposal For Republicans: Use The Word “Class” and I really like it. It paints a proposal for the Republicans to become the party of the working class.

Scott writes:

It could appeal to the white working class. Everyone agreed these people were Trump’s base, but the media insisted on emphasizing the “white”, as in “WHITE!!! working class”. Your job is to get people thinking “white WORKING CLASS!!! instead. […]

It could appeal to blacks and Hispanics. They’re mostly working-class, so they hate the elites as much as anyone else. So far the left has kept them voting Democrat by scaring them with stories about how racist the white working class is, and convincing them that only Democratic elites can keep them safe. […] The pro-Trump shift among blacks and Hispanics in 2020 proves that minorities are willing to vote Republican once someone frames the conflict in class terms. […]

It could appeal to Republicans who are in it for the capitalism (including the rich donors). You would argue that capitalism is the system that lets people succeed regardless of class; even the most uncouth and uneducated person can strike it rich if they work hard and make good deals.

He goes on by giving lots of examples of how the Democrats really are the party of the elites and do a lot of elitist things. Think about how the class of university educated people talks about how university education is the only way to success all the time. Think about forgiving student loans, which is an incredibly stupid idea. Think about how over 90% of donations from journalists go to the Democrats. There really is a genuine case to make against the Democratic Party.

I especially loved Scott’s idea about prediction markets to address the Republican distrust of experts:

Argue that you love and support legitimate experts, but that the Democrats have invented and propped up a fake concept of expertise as a way of making sure upper-class people who can game admissions to top colleges control the discourse. Your solution will be prediction markets. Yes, really. Repeal all bans on prediction markets and give tax breaks for participating in them, until they have the same kind of liquidity as the S&P500. You’ll get a decentralized, populist, credentialism-free, market-based alternative to expertise. When the prediction markets outperform 75% of experts, fire them and say this proves you were right all along that government-sponsored expertise was just a jobs program for the upper-class. The remaining 25% of experts are cool and you will definitely listen to them very closely about whatever they have to say.

I’m serious about this one. What’s the alternative solution? Republicans are stuck distrusting experts, both because of ideological precommitments and because they’re understandably afraid experts will smuggle pro-Democrat bias into their judgments. But if they don’t trust experts, then sometimes they do incredibly dumb things and refuse to listen to the people who can set them right. Prediction markets – an un-biasable, decentralized form of aggregating expert and non-expert opinion correctly – are the only solution I can imagine working.

It is genuinely interesting to see how the Republican and Democrat party evolved over time. Decades ago the Republicans were the party for black voters, the party of emancipation and the party that fought against poverty. They could become that again.

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