Tim Carney's Memo to the GOP: Try Free-Market Populism

A suggestion for the Republicans.


Tim Carney has a suggestion for the GOP:

Republicans need a new coalition and a new message. The heart of that coalition should be the working class. The message should be populism.

Populist movements in the past have often been ugly because they scapegoated vulnerable minorities. The new Republican populism shouldn't blame the "47 percent" of Mitt Romney's imagination, or immigrants seeking to make a better life. The new Republican populism should declare war on the cronies and special interests who use big government to rig the game in their favor and deny opportunity to those trying to climb the ladder and live the American dream.

It's time for free-market populism and a Republican Party that fights against all forms of political privilege—a party that champions all who want to work and take risks in order to improve their lives and raise a family.

Read the whole article here. Carney makes a convincing case for the approach on the ideological merits, and a decent case against what Romney did instead on the strategic merits. He does not convince me that the GOP's own set of "cronies and special interests who use big government to rig the game" would ever allow it.