Middle-Class Heroes? By Andrew Stiles. National Review Online, December 31, 2013.
From the party of big business to the party of the little guy.
As Sean Trende and others have noted, middle- and working-class voters did not turn out for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election in the numbers that Republican leaders had expected. In the eyes of many of these once-Republican-leaning voters (including former Reagan Democrats), the GOP appears to be too closely linked to “big business.” In response, many conservative thinkers have called for a more populist GOP, oriented toward the middle and working classes and distant from corporate elites.
Barack Obama’s most effective campaign argument in 2012 was that Romney represented corporate America while the president and his party were fighting for ordinary Americans. Immigration is the first issue on which to turn this accusation back against Democrats and seize the moral high ground by speaking up for the real underdog, the American worker. Let us begin the re-branding, as Jeff Sessions suggests, with conservatives and the GOP vigorously and unapologetically opposing all legislation that increases low-skilled immigration and denouncing “comprehensive immigration reform” for what it is: class warfare waged by an unholy alliance of Obama, progressive elites, and big business against the well-being and way of life of the American middle and working classes.