Conservatives should not need Joe the Plumber to prove their middle class bona fides. We are naturally the party of the middle, and we don’t need gimmicks to prove it. Demographically, Democrats rely on being the party of the upper sixth and the lower third, while Republicans tend to do better with everyone in between. When we start losing the middle class and the suburbs, we lose big like we did in 2008.
Put another way, Republicans thrive as the party of normal Americans — the people in the middle culturally and economically. This is true of our leadership as well — we have a history of nominating figures who came first from outside politics. Our base is the common-sense voter in the middle who bought a house she could afford and didn’t lavishly overspend in good times and who is now subsidizing the person who didn’t.
Outside of the ridiculous statement about the Republicans being the party of “normal Americans” (whatever Mr. Ruffini thinks that means) and failing to acknowledge that the most famed Republican president of the past two generations wasn’t just an outsider to politics but came from that place that conservatives love to hate because of people like this, I think I’d like to buy Patrick a copy of Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State so he can get the economics behind his ideology straight.
Here’s just a couple of facts from the book that might help clear things up a bit:
Myth: A political divide exists between working-class “red America” and rich “blue America.”
Fact: Within any state, more rich people vote Republican. The real divide is between higher-income voters in red and blue states.
Myth: Rich people vote for the Democrats.
Fact: George W. Bush won more than 60 percent of high-income voters.
The Republicans are not, and have not been, the party of the middle class since…I don’t know when. The last 8 years have shown just how out of touch the GOP is with the “normal Americans–the people in the middle culturally or economically”. The American public, in consecutive elections, rejected the theories that the right has sworn by for years. And don’t give me the deal about the branding. It’s the product that’s the problem.
And here is a conservative dismantling Ruffini’s argument if you’d like a more comprehensive takedown.