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Republican Disdain for the White Working Class

Democratic Pres. Lyndon Johnson signing Medicare into law with Pres. Truman, also a Democrat, looking on.

An emerging lament of congressional Republicans, recently voiced by Carl Rove in the Wall Street Journal, is that President Trump’s awful behavior makes it more difficult to achieve Republican goals. Actually, the good thing about this vicious man’s behavior is that he may be making it more difficult to achieve Republican goals like tax breaks for those already awash in money, cancelling health insurance for 20 million people, rewriting environmental policy to please oil and coal interests, encouraging abuses by police and winking at discrimination and intolerance of all sorts.

The larger and more dangerous truth is that Trump’s vileness disguises the anti-working class bedrock of the Republican program being pushed in Congress by Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. The foundation of this program is the belief that working class Americans have to be coerced to work. The Ryan-McConnell approach reeks with the attitude of Dark Age nobles and Gilded Age bosses who believed that serfs, laborers fresh off the farms, and immigrants would not be sufficiently subservient, stay on a job and work hard if jobs were well paid and plentiful. Based on the same insulting view of working people, Republican leaders argue that patients will overuse health services if they don’t face high out-of-pocket costs, and become too contented for bosses to manage if they are guaranteed decent social security in old age.