The Republican Party and Plutocratic Populism

The Republican Party is controlled by the rich and the super rich. The Party elites like being rich and super rich; they want to be taxed less and get even richer, and to that end they want to cut government spending except to support their own interests, and they don’t care much about the plight of the middle class and the poor and disadvantaged. Because these elites comprise only a small minority of voters, to gain and retain power they have had to entice large numbers of voters whose economic interests would be better served under Democratic administrations.

Republican elites succeeded in accomplishing their aims by appealing to people for whom possession of firearms is of especially great importance, people for whom particular religious teachings are of especially great importance, and people motivated by their resentment of African Americans, immigrants, recipients of pubic assistance other than themselves, or those whom they have come to believe are dangerous socialists, liberals, or leftists.

Aided by highly partisan right-wing media, Republican elites succeeded in patching together a winning coalition of these disparate groups. The brand of political faith they successfully marketed has been well characterized as plutocratic populism. They’ll keep pitching it as long as it works.