The GOP Flirts With Class Warfare

I've long been a fan of Shikha Dalmia's work, which is why I was surprised by her problematic description of my "missing white voters" hypothesis ("The GOP Flirts With Class Warfare," October), which I introduced in a series on demographic change.

Some problems were relatively minor: I don't suggest the GOP should embrace "Medicare for all"-only that Ross Perot did. More importantly, I don't really advocate "libertarian populism," or any policy prescription. I certainly don't advocate "keep[ing] out those big-government Hispanics."

I actually express doubt that Hispanics will be reliable left-of-center voters in the long term. I'm pretty explicit that I like much of the Gang of Eight framework, and I also note that the most successful paths for the GOP would involve real minority outreach.

My goal is simply to demonstrate that there are multiple paths to victory for the GOP, not all of which necessarily involve outreach to Hispanics.

As an elections analyst, I have to try to keep my policy and partisan preferences separate from the electoral analysis, much as a sportswriter can't always claim his favorite team is going to win the championship.

Sean Trende

Columbus, OH

Shikha Dalmia responds: The point of my piece was to show the unfortunate line of thinking among "reform conservatives"-not libertarian populists-that there are paths to victory for Republicans that don't involve serious outreach to minorities, especially Latinos.

All of these paths would require the GOP to abandon even its nominal commitment to limited government. I did not mean to suggest that Trende approved of these paths, just that his analysis had put them on the table.

CORRECTION: Shikha Dalmia's October column, "The GOP Flirts With Class Warfare," stated that Sean Trende had identified 1.6 million "missing white voters." The correct number was 6.1 million.

Letters are welcome and should be addressed to

reason 1747 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20009 fax: 202-315-3623 letters@reason.com

"Besides surveillance and information, something politically relevant in [Philip K. Dick's] books is the question of authenticity and indistinguishable fakes. Our obsession with narrative over cold fact means that we are always trying to suss out the authenticity of the candidates' identity and narrative when in the end it doesn't matter because they'll likely vote the same anyway."

-reason.com commenter "Marty Feldman's Eyes" in response to "Philip K. Dick's Visions" (October)

"[Scott] Walker had to make his compromises with reality. Recall that absent reform that the unions would not agree to, the entire edifice of teacher pensions would have collapsed. That's fine by me, they're commies top to bottom, deserving of slow starvation in their dotage, but Walker was more compassionate. He saved the idiots from their idiocy."

-reason.com commenter "Whiskey-vac 5000" in response to "Big Labor Stumbles in Wisconsin" (October)

"Taking a sample of someone's DNA without their consent, sending it for testing, and then publishing the information in the news media should be illegal. That could be used for all sorts of unsavory purposes, such as blackmailing someone with the news that a child was fathered by someone other than the mother's husband."

-reason.com commenter "HazelMeade" in response to "Does the Royal Baby Deserve Genetic Privacy?" (October)