Living in a Blue City

Brandon Johnson is the new mayor and so far, he is proving even dumber and more incompetent than Lori Lightfoot. A major league baseball manager once commented when asked can it get any worse for your team, “Yes it can.”  This weekend there were 32 shootings and 8 fatalities, and the Chicago loop saw a riot in which cars and city buses vandalized, and two additional shootings. Or as one commenter noted, just another weekend in Chicago.

Chicago haven’t had a Republican mayor in at least nine decades so you can’t blame Republican leadership and despite having one of the toughest gun control regime, crimes continue to spiral out of control.

Chicago had a choice, a left of center Democrat who at least promised to protect the community or Johnson, a hard-core leftist socialist supported by the local teacher unions. In the end, Chicago voted for more crime and disorder. While Johnson response to the recent riots was carefully worded as not give the opinion that he was not condoning the violence, he added that the violence and disorder was no reason to demonize youth.

Johnson, Cook County commissioner and a former teacher union organizer favored defunding the police and on one radio appearance stated, “about “our effort and our move to redirect and defund the amount of money that is spent in policing, redirect funds from policing and incarceration to public services not administered by law enforcement that promote community health and safety equitably.”  52% of votes opted for unicorns and ignored the hard reality that controlling crime is important in ensuring that Chicago remains a viable city and maintains civilization. There is no evidence that Johnson is genuinely interested in reducing crime. According to Chicago police every crime is up except murder, but murders are significantly up from 2019, pre Covid. Stolen car up by 135%, theft up by 22%, robbery up by 15%, burglary up by 6%, sexual assault is up 2%, and aggravated battery up by 4%.

Chicago votes do have a role in this disaster since over half of them voted for Johnson after rejecting Lori Lightfoot for her incompetence. They supposedly rejected her for her failure to provide protection to the city but yet they elected a candidate who will continue the same policies.

Johnson fiscal plan is to soak commuters, businesses and the ultra-rich while splurging on social spending. and Chicago also has a severe problem with pension spendings which makes up 12 percent of the city budget and this restrict spending in other needed areas just as public safety.

The teacher unions organized voters and helped Johnson to get over the top and those voters who voted for Vallas and some aspect of law and order will pay the price. Many of them will leave for the suburbs or simply leave Illinois to join the migration to red states.

Final state data a 27 month survey.

One of my projects is finally done. I have been tracking state unemployment since the summer of 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. What I have found is that GOP governors consistently outperformed their Democratic counterparts.

GOP governors averaged 3.2 percent versus 3.9 percent for Democratic governors.

I also found that states with GOP controlling all aspects of government outperformed their Democratic counterparts. States with mixed government finished in between both GOP and Democratic controlled states.

In the bigger states, Republican governors also outperformed their Democratic counter parts. Florida led the way among the bigger states with unemployment at 2.5 percent.

The one good news for many blue states is that they opened up their economy in 2022. They reduced the margin versus GOP states. In August of 2020, Blue states unemployment was 24% higher than Reds states but by December 2022, 18%.

90 percent of the states with lower unemployment had Republican governors and 70 percent of states at the national average or lower had Republican governors.

States that opened their economy sooner had lower unemployment during the pandemic and afterwards. GOP states were more likely to open their economy and had lower unemployment as a result. GOP states were more likely to be under the national average.

Answering Scott Adams Question

Scott Adams asked recently about us Pandemic lockdown skeptic “No, I literally want to know how the people who were right knew it advance.  They know but won’t explain it.” This is an interesting questions and Adams wants to know how did we know the lockdowns and other efforts For me, It began with research on past pandemics and had a good idea what would happen.

There were many in the Trump administration early in the pandemic who viewed this as a Spanish flu returning and forecast 2,000,000 deaths from Covid.  Originally Fauci opposed this, but within a short period of time, he jumped on board.

Others looked at the numbers and did their own research. John Ioannidis and others found the lethality was lower than originally feared, but instead their data was rejected simply because it went against narrative. 

The 1957-8 flu season had per capita death similar to Covid in the first 6 months and the lockdown ever been tried on the large scale in a virus and it failed.  Common sense would tell you, shut the economy down and you will have an economy down and you will have an economic depression or at least severe recession.  April saw unemployment up to 14.7 percent and going into summer, unemployment stayed in double digit. 

In 1957-58 unemployment nearly doubled to 7.5 percent and recession happened.  There is very little articles on the impact of the flu on the recession but you have to assume that millions of Americans not working would have impact on productivity.    Anyone familiar with literature would have easily predicted the economic disaster the lockdown would produce. Unemployment went up to 14.7 and it took two years to recover these jobs. Those states that opened their economy, had lower unemployment from the worse of the pandemic to the present.

Groups like Rational Ground using data, saw the failure quickly and many specialists like the Great Barrington Declaration warned of the impact.  Data collected, and reviewing history gave us information needed to know a mistake was made.  

As for Adams question, we knew early because we looked at the actual facts and saw the flaws in the government data.  We also understood that government officials had their own objectives and were willing to manipulate the data to obtain those objectives.

State of Science

What the pandemic showed is that scientific process is messy with humans facing difficult choices.  During the pandemic, we had two roads, the first was to slow down any government response until what we were truly facing and the second road was to act immediately even when we didn’t have all the needed information.  Both choices meant hundreds of thousands would die but one road will preserve much of society and allow it to recover quickly.  The second road led to more deaths, unemployment, children not educated, and did not stop the spread of the virus.

We chose the latter, and it was a disaster.  Those who favored the first route of slowing down the process proved to be correct.  They were more correct about the nature of the virus, the lethality and which age group most impacted, and understood the damage the lockdown would do.  Many of the supporters of the lockdown have accepted many of the skeptic’s views. Dr.  Leana Wen acknowledged that maybe the CDC overcounted actual deaths from Covid and many like Emily Oster that they were wrong on many of the key issues of the pandemic.

Tony Fauci and his associates have done more to undermine science than anyone could ever have and Dr. Fauci exposed the underbelly of our scientific class that politics and power plays a role in how science really works. It is not about science and even following science, but about continuing  to support the narrative that those in power wanted.   It could take a generation for people to believe in science as they saw big science destroyed scientific debate with many suffering as a result and careers destroyed or threatened.  Millions lost their jobs first as the result of bad policies including lockdowns and later due to vaccine mandates, children uneducated and how many people will die prematurely from cancer or heart diseases?

For those interested in some of the climate alarmist ideas, here they are.

  1. Create a race of small people, so you have eugenics, and will it stop at just size?
  2. Geoengineering funded by Bill Gates to reduce the sun’s impact on the planet and make the planet colder, what can go wrong.
  3. Jan Goodell once suggested that “climate change” would be relieved if we had the population of 500 years ago.  So, genocide has entered the climate debate for how do you get to this goal of reducing population this low without genocide? Nor has she been the only one.
  4. Elimination of fossil fuels and no return to nuclear energy, you are talking a 19th century economy.
  5. Restrict the yield of farming and the elimination of husbandry. So, we are talking meatless society and smaller yield means less food. Less food combined with no fossil fuels means billions die of starvation.  Goes with reducing population and ends up with genocide.
  6. Elimination or curtailing of capitalism combined with elimination of fossil fuels means less prosperity, more poverty, more starvation. Genocide.
  7. Restricting freedom of speech and more authoritarian government.

Capitalism allows us to find solutions to future energy needs and survive whatever nature hits us with We have lowered death by 90 percent in extreme climate crisis like tornadoes and hurricanes.

The reality is that the solutions are far worse than even the worst-case scenario they come up and those scenarios are the least likely to happen.  So, the climate alarmists have managed to combine elements of eugenics, massive starvation, extreme poverty and for the survivors, a less free society.

Watching Davos, I come to one conclusion everyone who showed up agreed on all the major issues.  There was no actual diversity of ideas but a lot of stupid ideas.  There is Siemens Chairman Jim Hagemann who says we need at least one billion people eating bugs to save the planet from our climate crisis.   I wonder who those billion people are and where they live.  If you are poor or live in a developing country in Africa, you will get a diet of bugs. 

Then there is this “Government must act as investors of first resort to invite wider private sector interest and investment in technologies and sector with the highest potential to build the markets of tomorrow.”  The government will direct investments. They added “ With global demand for industrial products projected to grow significantly by 2050, the decarbonization of industry  is fundamental to the global energy transition.  Just five industries (cement and concrete, iron and steel, oil and gas, chemicals and coal mining) together are responsible for 80 percent of industrial emissions.”  These businesses will either be restricted or eliminated, industries that provide jobs for millions.

Never have so many people have so much of high opinion of themselves to be our better but yet support or come up with so many bad ideas.

Christmas Carol

It is said every year, commercialism of Christmas is bad. Personally, I do not buy into the philosophy that somehow giving gifts is evil. For many, Christmas is representative of the greed that consumes Modern day America. Somehow to participate in Christmas is to be materialistic, missing the reason for Christmas, the birth of Christ. Christianity is far from hostile to business and Jesus warned us against greed, he showed no hostility to business much less businesspeople. When Bob Crachett wanted to add an extra piece of coal to the fire, he was turned down.

Charles Dickens writes about Scrooge’s home, “It was a low fire, indeed nothing on just a bitter night. He was obliged to sit close to it and brood over it before he could extract the least sensation of warmth from just a handful of fuel. The fireplace was s an old one built by some Dutch merchant long ago and paved all around with quaint Dutch tiles designed to illustrate the Scriptures.”   Scrooge lived in an antiquated house and spent little to keep his home warm.  Money was a scorecard to show his success and he denied himself the pleasure of his wealth for Scrooge selfishness applied to himself. Charity begins at home and if you are not willing to share with yourself, you most likely not be willing to share with others.

Christian thoughts fuel a thriving free market economy, for business depends upon truth and moral behavior. Without trust, a market economy cannot function. Contrast Scrooge with his nephew Fred who spends Christmas and enjoys the gaiety of the holiday with his wife and friends. Even Crachetts enjoy Christmas on Bob Crachetts meager salary for even the meager savings are no object in rejoicing the birth of Christ. For Scrooge he lived a life more amoral than moral as the ghost Marley reminds him, “Mankind should have been our businesses.”  A successful businessperson needs to serve his customer, or he will not be successful.

Christmas represents the universal message of peace and forgiveness, and you do not need to be a believer in Christianity to buy into these virtues. “A Christmas Carol” is a story of giving and receiving, of redemption and reclamation. The spirits seek to reclaim Scrooge immortal soul and reform the previously selfish man, whose only thoughts never exceeded beyond his nose.

It is at Christmas that we give ourselves to others. It is the season we give each other gifts to show significant others, for your friends and for our spouses and children. Jesus’ birth was a gift for humankind, we can never pay back. Three kings arrive from the East with their own gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for their new King. Christmas is the symbol of unconditional love and giving. A former manager once warned me that when lovers or friends begin to keep score, the relationship is soon over. Giving should be unconditional if you love someone and you should be appreciative when receiving gifts from others. Giving is a form of showing love and how much you value friendship with others. The world would be poorer and not just materially without Christmas.

As for Scrooge, he was redeemed. He learns his lesson well as Dickens writes, “Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all and infinitely more and to Tiny Tim, he did not, he was a second father. He became as good a friend as good as master, and as good man as the good city ever know… it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any possessed the knowledge.”

His change is what Christianity represents. He begins to invest in his business as he allows Bob Crachett to add more coal to keep the office warm and raises Crachett’s salaries. Christianity is about second chances, third chances, fourth chances and unlimited chances. It is about giving and receiving. Christianity represents those qualities as we seek love and forgiveness from those who are closet to us. As the prayer Our Father, “Forgive our trespasses as we forgive who trespasses against us. “As Christian, we can never repay the debt of our Father as he sent his only Son to destroy the power of Sometimes, we can repay the debt of others given us in. the past. We can share our bounty with others including those who are closet. Scrooge finds out that Charity begins at home and seeks the forgiveness of those who are closest to him. As he redeemed, he finds out that he becomes a source of good for that closet to him and to his community. He lives and because he chose life of charity, so does Tiny Tim.

where to from here

Interesting tidbits.  Since the beginning of the pandemic, states with Republican governors with lower unemployment and the most recent numbers, there is no difference as states with Republican governors have lower unemployment than their Democratic counterpart, 3.2 percent to “3.8 percent.  And in those states where Republicans control both legislative and executive branch, unemployment are slightly under 3 percent versus Democrats 4 percent.  The bluer the state, worst unemployment.

when it came to economics Republicans navigated their states during than the Pandemic. The rise of the Republican Party may begin at a state level as many governors have shown the ability to be able to the rank beginning with Ron DeSantis but there are others who showed the wiliness to challenge the lockdown narrative.

Who Did Better on Unemployment?

Comparison of Republican States and Democratic States from August 2020 to August 2022.

By Tom Donelson

Since August 2020 and during the pandemics, there has been one constant: unemployment in Republican states have been significantly lower than in Democratic states. The chart below shows this

In August of 2020 unemployment for states with Democratic governors was 8.4 compared to 6.4 unemployment for Republican governors and in August 2022, unemployment under Democratic governors was 3.7 percent and under Republican governors was only 3 percent.

We also compared states with exclusively one-party control of the both the legislature and the executive states with mixed control with one party who split control of the lever of power and found differences. Republicans who control both the legislature and governor seats, had an unemployment rate of 2.8 percent compared to Democrat states who control both the governor seat. and the legislature had an unemployment rate of 4 percent. Those who had mixed government had an unemployment rate of 3.4.   

Completely run blue states had 30 percent more unemployment than completely run red states and these Democrats run states were even behind those states with split control. We did not find a difference between states with Republican governors and split government and Democratic governors with split government as GOP governors was 3.4 percent and Democratic governors was 3.3 percent. When we combined GOP governors and split governance, we see the unemployment is 3 percent.

We also compared the top four most populous states with Republican governors: Florida, Ohio, Texas, and Georgia to top four populous states with Democratic governors: New York, California, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. States with Republican governors had unemployment of 3.4 percent and two, Florida and Georgia, were below the national average and below 3 percent. The Democratic states averaged 4.4 percent and not one of these states were below the national average. Not one Democratic state had unemployment less than 4.1 percent.

The main reason for this difference is that Republican states open their economy earlier during the Pandemics compared to Democratic states. While some GOP states were aggressive with lockdowns initally, GOP states reduce restrictions, and this showed up in the lower unemployment.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly conducted three studies on the impact on the lockdown and found that there were no real differences in deaths per capita and both non-lockdown states and Republican states had lower unemployment compared to lockdown states and Democratic states. 1 Unemployment for non-lockdown states was 5.5 percent and for Republican states 6.4 percent whereas lockdown states and Democrat states unemployment was 8.2 percent in August of 2020.

In winter of 2020, many states reinstate lockdowns and in reviewing those states in August 2022, the unemployment was 3.5 percent for lockdown states compared to 2.8 percent for non-lockdown states. In both studies, all the non-lockdown states had Republican governors and in those states in which Democrats ran all phrase of government, the unemployment rate was 4 percent.

What we find for the past two years is that Republican states have lower unemployment compared to their Democratic counterpart and we found this difference most significant. Other studies support this including a report card by Casey Mulligan, Phil Kerpen and Steve Moore. They observed, “Economy and schooling are positively correlated (correlation coefficient = 0.43), which suggests a relationship between the willingness of the population (or its politicians) to resume normal activity in business and school. MT, SD, NE, and UT are the states’ highest on the economy score and among only seven states to exceed 85 percent open schools. The correlation between health and economy scores is essentially zero, which suggests that states that withdrew the most from economic activity did not significantly improve health by doing so.”

  1. Ignored cost: Effect Yes-No lockdown states along with Red-Blue states political partisanship and other variables on April-August unemployment across the United States. Sept 2020
  2. A FINAL REPORT CARD ON THE STATES’ RESPONSE TO COVID-19 by Casey Mulligan, Phil Kerpen and Steve Moore April 2022

Leadership class

America’s leadership class is in crisis beginning with our political class which includes the party leadership of both Parties, bureaucrats running the administrative state, the foreign policy experts that populate both think tanks and administrations, depending on which party is in power. 

Trump had to depend on many within the establishment as he started his administration.  This proved to be one of his Achilles heels, as many of these individuals did not buy into his agenda, including foreign policy where the amateurs proved to be more effective in implementing Trump’s goals than the foreign policy experts. This was shown in the Middle East as the Trump foreign policy team produced an anti-Iranian Sunni alliance with Israel in the Middle East.  This overcame one of Obama’s great foreign policy mistakes, the Iranian nuclear deal.  He and his amateurs saw changes in the Middle East that his experts didn’t see, such as how states such as the United Arab Emirates could be potential allies of Israel. The amateurs took advantages of those changes and made steps towards peace.  Trump saw the threat of China that his experts did not see or refused to see. 

The scientific class was a major failure in 2020 as this was the year when the pursuit of scientific truth died and may be incapable of being resurrected.  The Wuhan virus demonstrated that our scientific class was perfectly willing to fit their science into political conventional wisdom, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths and the destruction of the world economy and local communities.  Our scientists may have killed more people prematurely than they saved from the virus.  The academic class has replaced teaching with indoctrination and the media class is merely an appendage of the political class, and the Democratic Party.  As one wise pundit noted, “Media members are Democratic operatives with bylines.”

Glenn Harlan Reynolds described the suicide of expertise: “It was the experts — characterized in terms of their self-image by David Halberstam in The Best and the Brightest — who brought us the twin debacles of the Vietnam War, which we lost, and the War On Poverty, where we spent trillions and certainly didn’t win. In both cases, confident assertions by highly credentialed authorities foundered upon reality, at a dramatic cost in blood and treasure. Mostly other people’s blood and treasured, and these are not isolated failures.”

 Over the past decade, we have seen the Great Recession, due to a housing bubble engineered by existing laws and promoted by the best and brightest on Wall Street. Trump inherited a foreign policy debacle in the Middle East engineered by Obama’s experts, who produced a policy that led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, a million refugees headed for Europe, the rise of ISIS, and the upending of previous relations between the U.S. and the State of Israel. Nor can we forget the toppling of Moammar Gadhafi, which led to Libya becoming yet another sanctuary for Islamic terrorists and another places where refugees fled the Middle East for Europe. A year after the toppling of Gadhafi, attack on two United States facilities resulted in the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others.

While many in the Middle Class saw their income and wealth decline, they were often mocked when they rebelled by voting for Trump and that includes a few within the conservative ranks, some of whom didn’t even vote for him either in 2016 or 2020 and supported the two impeachment attempts.


The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in 2020 shows the complete failure of the Leadership class.  Biden was a mediocrity at his best but the one thing he was good at, he knew how to play the system and enrich his family and himself. Nor was this the usual graft as his family profited as his son made billions in deals with China while Biden as vice president was negotiating deals that cost many Middle Americans their jobs and allowed China to become even more powerful. Biden also got a prosecutor in Ukraine fired for investigating a corrupt company that Hunter Biden was making hundreds of thousands a year from. (Let us not forget that Trump was impeached over raising the issue of Hunter Biden with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.  Trump got impeached over asking about what a corrupt Presidential candidate did when he was the Vice President in a previous administration.)

Richard Fernandez noted in 2017, “Suicidal factionalism has torn apart famous nations before, Rome’s Crisis of the Third Century being the most famous example. . ..  If Trump is overthrown by the Deep State in a year, he’s unlikely to be the last. If neither faction will suffer itself to be governed by the other, whoever succeeds Trump can expect his term to be short. America could have its own period of the 26 presidents. That will be good news for the Barbarians, waiting at the edge of the Baltics, in the South China Sea, and on Europe’s borders, ready to move in. Rome’s Third Century crisis did not end well. The new normal was not a return to the Golden Age, but the end of it.” In 2020, the Leadership class won this battle and essentially turned the country over to the socialists and oligarchies that fund their political activity.  

Glenn Harlan Reynolds noted, “Strong nations can fail when their leadership class, or a part of it, succumbs to pettiness, and places its narrow factional interests above those of the nation. Americans have often assumed that we are immune to such things. Perhaps earlier Americas, with a more disciplined, more patriotic ruling class, were. But today’s America is not. Beware.”

Right now, the conservative movement is in turmoil, not exactly sure what to do in the wake of the 2020 elections.  The Trump presidency is controversial among conservatives. since he was not a typical conservative of the past five decades.   For those of us who came of age in the Reagan years, Trump challenged our ideas.  However, times and circumstances change, and we need to recognize that while conservative principles are still essential, the solutions we have come up with to public policy problems need to be reviewed. 

Over the past four years, our coalition is shifting, beginning with adding blue-collar workers living in medium size cities. rural areas and small towns, and we are adding minorities who are finding that states run by Democrats don’t work and give them with fewer job opportunities and higher crime than they would in red states.    We have developed losses with suburbanites, but we don’t know whether these losses were due to the temperament of Trump that they didn’t like or something deeper.

The other shift is that the business class has changed, with many of the larger business leaders siding with the left in the culture war and becoming more caretakers than innovators. Even the tech companies that drove much of the economic growth in the 1980’s and 1990’s have ceased to be innovators. but instead have become monopolies but monopolies that are willing to perform censorship demanded by the political class, who want to crush any opponents who dare to resist the coming socialism of America.   These monopolies want to use government to set up regulations to destroy their competitors.

When Apple, Facebook and Twitter went after Parler, they had two objectives:  to crush a conservative competitor and to censor conservative thoughts.    The past two election cycles 2018 and 2020, Republicans have been outspent by Democrats and much of this due to big business and big tech money going to the Democrats. 

In my first book and reports for Americas Majority Foundation, I have made the case for the synergy between Trump populism and conservatism, and I’ve warned if we failed to form an alliance, then many of our coalition will either stay home or move to the left. Conservatism is at stake but there are solutions to preserving conservative principles beginning with studying the past. 

Reagan lived in an era in which inflation pushed many in the middle class were pushed into high marginal tax rates once reserved for the upper class.  A stagnating economy combined with double-digit inflation to produce “stagflation.”  In addition, Reagan had to confront an expanding Soviet the end of the 1970’s. Many observers in this period saw America in permanent decline.  Reagan’s tax rate reductions and victory in the Cold War and winning the cold war produced world peace and nearly a quarter century of prosperity.  Most Americans saw their income rise and by 2007, 63% of Americans became investors and the investor class was born.

Trump inherited a foreign policy mess.  Yemen, stable before Obama took office, was in a civil war with proxy forces of Iran and Saudi Arabia, Ukraine was under siege and partially occupied by Putin’s forces. ISIS occupied much of Syria and Iraq and Chinese influence steadily grew. The economy was growing slowly, with many Americans were not sharing into the growth.  Many in the middle class found their overall wealth declining as their wages stagnated. 

Trump had foreign-policy successes, including formation of an anti-Iranian coalition including Arab states and Israel.  Many Americans did see their income go up until the pandemic, which helped sink his chances for a second term.  Many of his policies were center-right and his foreign policy represented a chance to restructure our overseas priorities. We will see if this can be resurrected in 2024 if Biden returns to the foreign policy failures of the Obama/Biden Administration. 

The greater threat to our freedom comes from the democratic socialist movement. While a reform conservative movement can embrace rising national populism, there are no counterpoints on the right to the democratic socialist movement, since many moderates have either been defeated in elections or have simply left the Democratic Party.  The Democratic donor class funds the socialist movement with glee, and the Democratic Party has become the party of the very rich and the poor. As the Democratic Party has shown since Obama’s presidency, they have no problem in using government to attack their opponents including the use of the IRS to target conservative political organizations. The left likes to portray Trump as the second coming of Hitler or Mussolini, but it has been the Democratic Party which is a real threat to many of our freedoms, beginning with free speech and free political association.

I observed that during the 2016 election, the future of conservative ideas was being fought between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Rubio and Cruz’s families both came to America from Cuba, but even though they were both Cuban-Americans, but this hid the differences between the two and the emerging Hispanic community.   Rubio, like most Hispanics, is Roman Catholic, but Cruz is Southern Baptist; and a rising number of Hispanics are evangelicals. Before Rubio was elected to the Senate, he was a Florida legislator including being the speaker of the Florida House.  Cruz worked in George W. Bush’s Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission before becoming the solicitor general of Texas, where he argued cases in front of the Supreme Court.  Cruz drafted the amicus brief for Heller, a significant victory for gun rights in 2008 supported by 31 state attorney generals.

The differences between the two reflected the differences within the Republican Party.  Rubio’s tax plan depended on tax credits for the middle class.  His goal was to promote family values and help the middle class through tax reform.  Rubio’s plan left the top rate at 35%, which is only a slight drop from the present system and.  Of all the tax reform proposals between 2010 and 2016, Rubio’s plan had the highest marginal tax rates.  Ted Cruz proposed a flat 10 percent tax plus a 16 percent rate on business transactions that was like a value added tax.  In foreign affairs, Rubio campaigned as more of an interventionist whereas Cruz’s foreign policy was a return to the pre-9/11 more modest view of America’s role in the world.

Trump’s individual tax plans were similar to Rubio’s and his business plan was similar to what Cruz proposed. Trump’s foreign policy was a return to a more modest view of foreign affairs based on defending American interests and not being involved in parts of the world that may be part of America’s interests.

Both Cruz and Rubio are social conservatives and supporters of gun rights but that is the norm for Republicans even in the era of Trump.  Cruz argued Second Amendment cases in front of the Supreme Court and Cruz opposed crony capitalism including ethanol and sugar subsidies. (Rubio supported sugar subsidies because Florida politicians support sugar subsidies just as Iowa politicians support ethanol.) As the Carrier case in Indiana demonstrated after the 2016 election, in which Trump used government power to aid the company, Trump supported his version of crony capitalism if it benefited his voters.

Both Cruz and Rubio are considered potential rivals for 2024, but the field has expanded to include South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and Florida governor Ron DeSantis.  During the pandemic, Governor Noem and Governor DeSantis showed leadership at keeping economic growth in their respective states while dealing with a pandemic and showed that much of the scientific class advice coming from Washington was not just wrong, but disastrous to many Middle-Class Americans, small businesses, and city residents, while failing to save lives. Noem and DeSantis ignored much of the Scientific class’s advice emanating from Washington.  They instead listened to the “skeptics” whose ideas and solutions proven more correct. (I only use the word ‘skeptics’ because many of those who opposed lockdown strategies proved to be more accurate with their science, but the Media class and much of the political class viewed them as outliers as opposed to scientists who “got the virus right.”.)

The real need is for the conservative leadership to accept the fact that Trump’s supporters are here to stay and are a necessary part of the coalition without which Republican and conservatives can’t win.  As for Trump, he will remain a Republican to ensure that his ideas are still part of the debate and his supporters respected.  The one obstacle to Trump’s future is that Biden Department of Justice will continue to persecute Trump and his family and there will be attacks from Democratic state attorney generals as well.  Trump may suffer the fate of Andrew Mellon, the secretary of Treasury in the Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover administration. Mellon spent his last years fighting off Democrats’ efforts to put him in jail for various tax crimes.  Shortly after his death, Mellon would be exonerated. Democrats want not just to defeat Trump but also to humiliate him and his family, hoping to permanently blacken Trump’s legacy.

The good news is that Republicans have a deep bench for 2024 among both governors and legislators in Washington, but too many within the Republican establishment are just as happy not just to see Trump leave but his supporters as well.  Without these Trump voters, there is no chance of a Republican victory.  As I noticed in my previous book, many of Trump’s domestic policy ideas are in line with much of modern-day Republican and conservative principles and his foreign policy are becoming more in line with Americans wary of war and endless American military deployments.   The potential to synergize conservative ideas with Trump populism is there, but it means that the conservative leadership class must change course and stop resisting Trump’s supporter and instead take advantage where his ideas mesh with conservative ideas.

My book The Rise of National Populism and Democratic Socialism: What Our response Should Be, explored how, if 2020 showed anything, we are a 50/50 nation, but the left holds the advantage as they control the leadership class, including the media class, much of the political class, the scientific class, and the academic class.  We are witnessing the implosion of these classes, but their decline is also leading to the decline of America.  The political class is the leading governing class that encompasses much of Washington including the administrative state, congressional legislators, the Democratic Party and even quite a few leaders of the Republican Party.  The governing class extends to many governors like Andrew Cuomo who proved disastrous in running his state, implementing policies that resulted in the death of many senior citizens and trashing his state economy. (He was forced from office due to sexual assault and harassment of women but not for a policy resulting in the deaths of thousands of senior citizens.)

 As Joel Kotkin noted, “One has to go back to Reagan to find a Republican Party that could consistently position itself as populist. Reagan’s appeal was based on security and taxes; for today’s GOP, the issue should be – besides terrorism and rising crime – how to address the decline of the middle- and working-class economy”. In the past, Democrats appealed to the middle class with programs designed for them, such as the G.I. Bill and had no problem with fighting class warfare. Hillary Clinton’s campaign attempted to appeal to the middle class through welfare expansion geared strictly to middle class voters but Hillary Clinton, like Obama, built a Democratic base based less than on class and more on race and identity politics and Biden is continuing this trend. Many of this new left-wing coalition is built around Millennials, minorities, single people, academics, and wealthy tech executives.  Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and his war on fossil fuels was a dagger aimed at many blue-collar Democrats, including union members. With coal mines closing due to EPA regulations, many blue-collar voters who voted for Bill Clinton in 1992 were abandoned by his wife and her party in 2016. Biden is abandoning these voters as he seeks to increase Democratic suburban voters while maintaining minority voters.  His opening executive orders blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline and energy development on federal land has affected blue states like New Mexico and Colorado, who are now seeing their energy sector trashed.  Many blue voters are now seeing the price of voting Democratic.  As H.L. Mencken noted, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”  These voters got it hard, and this is only the beginning.

For four decades, the Republicans have depended upon a coalition of social conservatives, national security hawks and supply siders. But this coalition that elected Reagan is now fraying and is no longer the majority. The good news is that the left has abandoned blue-collar white voters as well as many within their minority base who have more in common with these white, blue-collar voters than with other parts of the Democratic base. These minorities own their businesses and are moving into the middle class, but they are seeing doors to opportunity being shut by the oligarchies that fund the Democratic left. At least more 1.5 million Blacks and Hispanics voted for Trump in 2020 than in 2016.  The door is open for Republicans and reformist conservatives who understand that the Republican Party is now the party of Main Street.  It is time for Wall Street to understand their long-term health is dependent upon a healthy Main Street.  Wall Street can’t survive in the long run if nothing is produced on Main Street.

The Republicans will have the opportunity to rebuild a new conservative majority, based on conservative ideals beginning with this: the average American wants and needs a Fair Opportunity to Succeed. The challenge to the conservative leadership is to complement conservative ideals with the populist aspect of the movement to form a more permanent coalition.  The present leadership class is no longer adequate to govern America and changes are coming, and we conservatives need to be the vanguard of those changes.

I wrote in 2017, “Trump has many failings including making a fortune as a crony capitalist making his own deals with government regulators and Democratic politicians, but part of his appeal lies with his own view of the political class which he is forever calling ‘stupid.’ He understands that much of America no longer trusts government, but this distrust goes to other institutions of the ruling class, including corporations and Wall Street. Trump appeals to independents and working-class Democrats who know the old rules of the game no longer work for them, ensuring and they are alienated from politics.”