Source: Breitbart News
President Donald Trump’s working class agenda has upset the established order of things inside the Republican Party, remaking the GOP into a workers’ party.
The president’s effort, as the Washington Post reported this weekend, hit a fever pitch in 2019. The campaign by the president to remake the GOP into a working class party is all-encompassing, and focuses on virtually every single policy front.
the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein wrote:
President Trump shattered Republican orthodoxy on an extraordinary range of economic policies in 2019, setting up a more populist record for him to tout during a 2020 campaign in which Democrats already are accusing him of abandoning working people. From trade to spending, from the Federal Reserve to paid parental leave, Trump has embraced policy changes that historically are more in line with the approach of Democrats — establishing a forceful role for government in setting the terms of the economy — than of Republicans.
Stein continues in the Washington Post piece by describing just how “striking” is Trump’s “break with” traditional libertarian-esque GOP orthodoxy that has dominated the Republican Party since the end of Ronald Reagan’s second term. Stein wrote:
On trade, Trump has reached a ‘phase one’ trade deal with China that reportedly includes promises to buy far more in U.S. exports. He has completed a revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada that some liberals are cheering for labor protections and pharmaceutical policies. Trump co-opted a demand from the left to urge the Fed to cut interest rates despite the relatively strong economy, a position the central bank ultimately adopted after seeing signs the economic expansion might waver. The president has blown away traditional GOP concerns over the rising federal deficit, cutting bipartisan deals to expand government spending and even extend a new paid-leave benefit to the federal workforce. He unilaterally implemented a farm bailout that could prove more expensive than the auto bailout was a decade ago — a move that conservatives had criticized as wasting taxpayer dollars. And while takiPeter ng action against former president Barack Obama’s health-care law in court, the Trump administration has avoided moves to immediately blow up the law while pushing to allow states to import cheaper prescription drugs — a longtime liberal position opposed by many Republicans.
The piece later quotes Trump’s trade adviser in the White House, Peter Navarro, explaining the shift:
Trump’s unique brand of populism is essentially an economic nationalism based on an ‘America First’ perspective, applied to both domestic policies and the international trade arena. This revolution has repositioned the Republican Party into the party of the working class.
This Washington Post piece from Stein is hardly the only evidence of Trump’s hard break with a traditional GOP economic agenda in favor of a more economic nationalist populist agenda that pulls together some priorities from both Republicans and Democrats.
The president’s biggest economic win in 2019, the House passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, came after a year of stalling by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi but with broad bipartisan support–and backing from top labor unions like the AFL-CIO and an endorsement from Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who made clear this is the first trade agreement he has ever supported.
When the USMCA eventually passes the U.S. Senate, as it is expected to do early in 2020, it will completely remake the trade structure on the North American continent that has been in place since the mid-1990s as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Trump’s shredding of NAFTA in favor of the much-more labor-friendly USMCA, in addition to being a top promise from his 2016 presidential campaign, is part of a broader remaking of the economic agenda of Republicans in a way that Trump’s former Attorney General and former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions has said could be a pathway to generational dominance for the GOP, should Republicans follow through on this path that Trump is leading them down.
Sessions, who is running again for his old seat in the U.S. Senate and leading polling there in Alabama, said in a November interview with Breitbart News that the GOP could dominate for generations if the party embraces the working class agenda that President Trump has put forth.
“I’m going to push the Republican Senate conference hard,” Sessions said. “And I’m going to push the House Conference. The American people want a lawful system of immigration. They want to protect the national interest of the United States. They’re not globalists. They want us to protect American manufacturing interests against global trade competition. China is the worst offender. We have this monumental trade deficit with China. So, also, the world is always wanting the United States to join some organization in which other people get to vote on what should happen around the world, and then we’re expected to support what they vote for. This is why the Brits want to Brexit, and to get out of the E.U. because the E.U. has taken over their sovereignty.”
In addition to Sessions’ November interview, Fox News host Tucker Carlson–the anchor of Tucker Carlson Tonight which airs weeknights in primetime on the Fox News Channel–told Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel this weekend that President Trump has overseen a shift inside the GOP that he says is not even happening “fast enough.”
“Trump showed up in his instinctive way, he could smell all of this—he couldn’t always articulate it, but he could feel it,” Carlson said. “And he shows up and he’s basically like ‘the people in charge are doing a completely crappy job and they don’t care about you and they’re not meeting your basic needs.’ The expressions of that were immigration and trade and a couple of other things, but really that’s what it was about. The people in charge didn’t care about the country and the country was rotting. I think the realignment is really a response to that. It’s not just about Trump and they think he’s obnoxious or whatever—okay, it’s way deeper than that. They’ve been caught. They’ve been exposed as fraudulent. They haven’t done anything for the country. Like, how have you improved America? They haven’t, actually. And they’ve presided over its decline. They should be punished, and they are being punished—and thank God for that.”
As with any major political realignment, the moves by Trump have caused some serious waves in the rank-and-file of the party. In fact, as of early December, a whopping 43 percent–nearly half–of Republicans who were in office in the U.S. House since Trump was inaugurated have left office either by choice or by force.