Confessions of a Supply-Side Liberal

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Whither the GOP?

I am very interested in how the Republican Party will respond to losing the presidential election. In this post, I have collected some links addressing that question. I see three possibilities.

1. More Pro-immigration. As I see it, the adjustment that maintains competitiveness in presidential elections but keeps the Republican Party’s values as close as possible to what they are now would be to become more pro-immigration. The key issue this would address is clear in the title of one of my recent posts: "Central Political Fact: Mitt Lost Despite Getting Almost 60% of the White Vote." To be specific about how to change perceptions of the GOP without changing core Republican values, the approach I recommended to Barack in my post "Obama Could Really Help the US Economy by Pushing for More Legal Immigration" would work even better for the Republican Party if they initiated it. I predict that, if the Republican Party were willing to put up with serious grumbling from their base, outflanking the Democratic Party in being pro-immigration, while continuing to make a strong distinction between legal and illegal immigration would dramatically improve the fortunes of the GOP. Noah Smith’s post "Asian-Americans Destroy the Maker-Taker Narrative" is in the same spirit, saying that the Republican Party is in trouble if it continues to be primarily a White party.  

2. More Libertarian. Matthew Yglesias, in "The Central Tension of the GOP Coalition," in addition to recommending less ethnocentrism, adds another possibility: becoming more libertarian (at least on gay rights) in order to appeal to the young. He writes:

… one option would be to stay committed to the idea of dismantling the welfare state and try to ditch the existing coalition in favor of some different, younger, less-white, less-ethnocentric coalition that’s more likely to want to cut retirement security programs.

3. More Populist. A final possibility is for the Republican Party to become more populist—for example, by attacking the rich and “big business.” That seems to be the direction Bobby Jindal has in mind, based on his recent interview with Jonathan Martin: "Jindal: End ‘dumbed-down’ conservatism." Bobby also calls for less anti-intellectualism in the GOP. 

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