Skip to comments.Why the Reagan Democrats Departed
Posted on 07/02/2013 4:02:21 AM PDT by Bratch
On Nov. 3, 1969, Richard Nixon, his presidency about to be broken by massive antiwar demonstrations, called on "the great silent majority" to stand by him for peace with honor in Vietnam.
They did. Within days Nixon's approval surged to 68 percent. The ferocious Republican partisan of the 1950s had won over millions of Democrats.
Why? Because sons and brothers of those Democrats were doing much of the fighting in Vietnam. If Nixon was standing by them, they would stand by him.
In 1972 Nixon would win 49 states. Ronald Reagan, backed by his "Reagan Democrats," would win 44- and 49-state landslides.
Yet since Reagan went home, Democrats have won the popular vote in five of six presidential elections. The New Majority is history. The Reagan Democrats have departed. What happened?
Answer: For a generation, when forced to choose between Middle America and corporate America, on NAFTA, most-favored nation for China, and free trade, the GOP establishment opted to go with the Fortune 500. In the GOP the corporate conservative rides up front; the social, cultural and patriotic conservatives in the back of the bus.
Consider who has benefited most from Republican-backed globalization.
Was it not corporate executives and transnational companies liberated from the land of their birth and the call of patriotism?
Under the rules of globalization, U.S. corporations could, without penalty or opprobrium, shut their factories, lay off their U.S. workers, erect new plants in Asia, produce their goods there, and bring them back free of any tariff to sell to consumers and kill the U.S. companies that elected to stay loyal to the U.S.A.
They then used the profits from abandoning America to raise executive salaries to seven and eight figures.
And how did the Reagan Democrats make out?
Real wages of U.S. workers have not risen for 40 years. One in three U.S. manufacturing jobs vanished between 2000 and 2010. The nation that used to produce 96 percent of all it consumed depends now on foreigners for the clothes and shoes we wear, the TV sets we watch, the radios we listen to, the computers we use, the cars we drive.
A nation that used to export twice what it imported has been running huge trade deficits for decades. China now holds $1 trillion in U.S. debt and can buy Smithfield hams out of the petty cash drawer.
With 50,000 U.S. factories closing in this new century, the greatest manufacturing power in history has been hollowed out, as Beijing booms at our expense. Corporate America is building the new China that is pushing Uncle Sam out of the western Pacific.
"Where did the 'America' in corporate America go?" asks Robert Patterson in National Review.
The Bush aide hearkens back to "Engine Charlie" Wilson, Ike's first secretary of defense, who said, "For years I have thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors and vice versa." Wilson's words were twisted by a capitalist-baiting press, but he saw GM as first and foremost an American company.
Before Wilson there was William Knudson, the dollar-a-year man of FDR's war effort who converted GM and Detroit into the great arsenal of democracy, a story movingly told by Arthur Herman in "Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II."
"In the good old days," writes Patterson, "Americans could at least count on business leaders being pro-American. Beloved or not, major corporations functioned as true stakeholders of America: fortifying American industry and building American factories, spreading American innovation, paying billions of dollars in American taxes and creating millions of high paying 'family-wage' jobs that helped create and sustain an expanding middle class."
"No longer committed to a particular place, people, country or culture, our largest public companies have turned globalist, while abdicating the responsibility they once assumed to America and its workers."
Citing Joel Kotkin's work, Patterson adds, "the worst offenders are Apple, Facebook, Google, the high-tech firms secluded in Silicon Valley, a dreamland where the information age glitterati make Gilded Age plutocrats look bourgeois."
Google has five times GM's market capitalization but employs only one-fourth the number of GM's American workers. Steve Jobs' Apple has "700,000 industrial serfs" working overseas.
Since we bailed it out, GM has become "General Tso's Motors," creating 6,000 new jobs in China while shedding 78,000 U.S. jobs here.
Marco Rubio today leads Senate Republicans in doing the bidding of corporate America, which, in payback for its campaign contributions, wants amnesty for 12 million illegal aliens.
Agribusinesses need more peons. Restaurant chains want more waitresses, dishwashers, busboys. Construction companies want more ditch-diggers. Silicon Valley demands hundreds of thousands more H-1Bs -- foreign graduate students who can be hired for half what an American engineer might need to support his family.
"Merchants have no country," said Thomas Jefferson. "The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."
Amen to that.
I don’t always agree with Buchanan but I think it has this pretty much spot-on.
exactly right but wrong wrong wrong for America and the world. What corporations are missing is that they are killing off their customer base for the future. you cannot make everyone poor and expect to have sales. I know of highly skilled technical folks from india who make 50k less than their American counterparts while working here. the problem is they and their families must live the life of nomads since they are contract workers, they may or may not get benefits, they cant really afford much for housing, and their kids are using the school systems. how does that fare for America overall? so much for the American dream for anyone - domestic or imported. greed and covetousness is driving this immigration train but not wisdom! oh for a revolution and some true political leadership that can survive the assault of the socialists and media.
The answer in one word: Taxes. Always follow the money.
Limited taxes and regulation (especially the global-warming myth rules) would place America back on the top of the heap in but a few short years.
We might also wish to revoke the licenses of about 75-90% of all lawyers just to ensure success.
Excuse me,...Does PB realize that most of them have DIED?
Most Reagan Democrats couldn’t see how “Republicanism”, which was also compromised with the left, made any difference in their lives and were never comfortable with the country club types in charge. So they saw Clinton as a way to redeem themselves. But you are right, many have since departed.
While much in the article is valid the above is not a great example. Blue collar workers didn't work those jobs under Reagan as they didnt exist.
There was no internet under Reagan, and of course internet related jobs allow companies to go find the best deal on labor. That is no surprise. One 'internet job' or career that is high demand here (cant out-source) unfilled is Informance Assurance/cyber security but it takes some techical education.
Where I live nearly all the grocery stores have automatic checkout machines, Walmarts doesnt due to high theft as they attract those types. Machines are replacing humans and in response those people vote Democrat.
So lets legalize and hire some illegals.
What Pat failed to say the the lion's share of manufacturing is/was non union. So the factories that went to the 3rd world were staffed in the USA by non union workers almost 90% of the time. Said another way, the ones that lost their jobs in the USA were mostly non union, so unions do not cause off shoring.
Ding, ding, ding ... we have a winner.
Back in the early 90's I heard Bill Joy address a conference room full of Big Oil rersearch scientists where he spoke of the coming tsunami of change. He told the group that in a short while employers were going to be faced with choices like:
do I hire the top of the class Stanford Phd chemist for $60K per year or the Russian Nobel laureate ofr $25K per year
These kind of choices have now bubbled up throughout the entire global economy .... because of technology that didn't exist during the Reagan years. Oh, and we won't be going back to making buggy whips any time soon.
I don't think the 'Reagan Democrats" were/are a limited number of specific individuals, but a changing group of people with similar social and economic circumstances and interests.
Most of the Reagan Democrats have no more died than have most of the open borders advocates, or the Wall Street bankers, or loyal black Democrat voters, or the conservative rural American voter, etc., etc.
The 'Reagan Democrats' are still there in large numbers, both the older and younger members of the group.
A lucid article by Pat Buchanan. He must be back on his meds.
Trump claimed he could get us back there though.
At the risk of heresy last year when Romney was preaching the standard 'GOP tax cuts cure all ills' (+less regulation) I was reminded of how Jack Kempt about 20 years earlier (1993 is when I first heard him) used to preach that capital gains tax cuts will cure all economic ills.
Just cut them in the poor high crime area (East Baltimore) and it will become another Hong Kong.
The problem is if Romney gets a low capital gains tax rate for investing in a factory in China then .....??? We interview in China?
It really pisses me off, because Pat refuses to admit that most Corporations donate MORE to Dems than the GOP! It really pisses me off, because Pat refuses to admit that the GOP supports America and Americans and want people and Corporations to be Patriotic to America! All the while, the Democrats and liberals SCREAM that America should do more to help develop other countries and share our wealth, etc... Then Pat comes in here and screams at the GOP for doing the same dang thing that the Dems do every freaking day!The difference is, IMO, that the Corporations call the shots for the GOP.
The reason they throw so much money at the Democrats is because the Democrats have been winning lately. Unless they pony up, they have no influence in key legislature. But the Democrat agenda is driven by philosophy for the most part. The people in power are true believers
Republicans, OTOH, have no agenda, per say. They simply dance to the tune of their corporate sugar daddies.
We we stop going after the ‘dependent’ vote we can get the Reagan vote back...
That's always been true for *transistor* radios and computers. Most consumer electronics have been made in Asia since the 50s.
The point of the article is that the Reagan Dem vote IS the dependent vote now because of the global economy and other related stuff.
Was Romney going after the dependent vote?? If so his 47% comment was one hell-of-way to try to get it.
IMO, they have left because the GOP signed onto intellectually pure free market theories which most of them do not espouse.
Free trade agreements, deregulation of banks and interest, loosening of various consumer protections, stagnation of wages and loss of benefits, etc. are not appealing to these folks. Even though they are 95% with us on social issues.
Eventually the pressures get so great they vote their pocketbooks, which they perceive as voting Dem. I think we could counter this by not giving the business lobby EVERYTHING they want at EVERY turn. Certainly this Open Borders stuff touches on that. Reinstating some sort of usury law on credit card lenders would be another.
Same here. There is an elite, ruling class, including in Washington. Established Republicans and Democrats vote for unrestricted free trade and open borders. (ala Rubio and Ryan) A recent report suggested that the average American will suffer a decline in the standard of living for the next 12 years. We are crucifying the American middle class on the crosses of free trade and political correctness.
Clinton was elected with 42.7% of the vote, so I don't know that he was their choice.
Most of these folks sympathized with Perot. Which is why he would have won had he not been....well, insane.
Perot was insane, as well as pro-abortion and anti-gun, he was really a disaster, but people fell for his huckster routine, people of conflicting persuasions were convinced that he reflected their own politics.
PB is generally lucid and on target, the rest of the jack-legged Repubs for Amnesty are not. I agree with the FReeper that said PB needs to apply this rational to the Dims also!
Perot did have a hit with the Giant Sucking NAFTA ‘free’ trade crap...I would guess old voodoo mushmouth NWO GHWBush had no answer for the Marxian job sucking to which Perot alluded. Even Clinton fell into step in order to buck up our commie neighbors!
Perot did not give a poop about anything but himself. He was building an airport in texas along the international tex/mex border. With nafta his airport became worthless.
He was a glorified vote splitter who only was in it to attack GHWBush.
This is about cash in Ricky's pocket. He knows his political career has been toasted. To the extent that contributions can be converted into Ricky pocket cash, they might be a factor. I predict a very large house, multiple board memberships and a front man high corporate position in his future.
” This is about cash in Ricky’s pocket. He knows his political career has been toasted. To the extent that contributions can be converted into Ricky pocket cash, they might be a factor. I predict a very large house, multiple board memberships and a front man high corporate position in his future. “
You nailed it. Rubio will be a multi-millionaire in no time flat. Forget politics. Same with Ryan.
” Marco Rubio today leads Senate Republicans in doing the bidding of corporate America, which, in payback for its campaign contributions, wants amnesty for 12 million illegal aliens.
Agribusinesses need more peons. Restaurant chains want more waitresses, dishwashers, busboys. Construction companies want more ditch-diggers. Silicon Valley demands hundreds of thousands more H-1Bs — foreign graduate students who can be hired for half what an American engineer might need to support his family. “
He is right here, but doesn’t go far enough.
Here is the truth.
All want amnesty
Business wants cheap labor, and the social costs of several streams of welfare to be born by the middle class. A win-win for business. They make all the money, and we pay the trillion dollar tab.
Big banks will make huge money money lending to newly legal slobs, with no credit. 21%-28% APR,
You can’t make money lending to solid middle class borrowers with perfect credit, and 750 F.I.C.O scores.
You make all the money off the illiterate slobs, and their 10’s of millions of relatives who will be allowed to come here too!
Are payday loans legal in AZ?
If so then we should set up a bunch of payday loan stores around the state. They will be perfect customers for that scam, err that valuable service.
Arizona outlawed pay day loans 2 years ago. However, they are legal in many states. How does a 600% annual ROI sound to you?
Loan sharking is alive and well in the USA!
Perfect loan package for our immigrant new (to be)citizens. It will be like laying down cheese traps in a field of mice. Let them really grow the economy starting with ours.
You know my uncle looked into opening up his reverse mortage to borrow more and the bank told him the closing costs would be more than the loan. They outlawed payday loans here but not huge closing costs here.
You know my uncle looked into opening up his reverse mortage to borrow more and the bank told him the closing costs would be more than the loan. “
Reverse mortgages should be a last resort. They can cost 10 points. BAD investment for most people.
He got it in early 2008 before hell broke loose and it wasnt bad at all.
my grandmother got her’s around 1999 a really good deal for her.
Now the insurance in the closing costs is unreal. It destroyed it. It violates the payday excessive fee laws .
I need to look into this.
Really good idea ruined by the housing loan disaster.
If your parents were Reagan Democrats, you're not going to keep the divided loyalties and dual identity. You either moved forward to become a regular Republican or fell back to become a regular Democrat.
Your parents might still after all these years be registering Democrat and voting Republican because of the social issues, but every election people who do that are getting fewer and fewer.
Yeah, the loan disaster hurt the program to no end.
If you find anything out, please let me know.
The “Reagan democrats” became Republicans ages ago. The country is a lot less White than it was in Reagan’s day, that’s why the rats are winning. McCain would have won in 2008 with 1988 demographics. Romney would have easily won. On the plus side the South doesn’t split their tickets anymore so we have the House.
I can do without the anti-corporate rhetoric of Pat Buchanan, no economic conservative, constant pusher of the protectionist union agenda. And Jefferson, the great-great-grandfather of the democrat party and it’s class warfare.
Eggman, I take it you are referencing the film “Other People’s Money”, I love that speech by DeVito. It’s a small niche market but they actually still make buggy whips. ;d