The Corner

Shape the Electorate

Andy’s posting posed a choice:

There is no single-issue quick-fix to the challenge of ushering them into the Republican coalition. Rather, there is a choice to be made: either convince them that they are wrong, meaning make the unapologetic case for liberty and limited government; or fundamentally change who you are, meaning accommodate their statism.

He obviously opts for Door #1, as do most conservatives, while the Jeb Bush/Grover Norquist/WSJ crowd opts for Door #2. But I think there’s more to it. The Democrats are consciously pursuing policies to shape an electorate that is less self-reliant, more terrified of freedom (as David French puts it) and thus more open to statism. They do this in a number of ways, including making it easier to avoid marriage, thus increasing the number of single women; and importing ever-larger numbers of poor immigrants, both legal and illegal, thus not only creating future voters and future clients but also increasing economic insecurity for less-educated workers in general through a looser labor market.

So I’d submit that Andy’s Door #1 has another aspect to it: Yes, continue make the case for liberty and self-government (though perhaps doing a better job at marketing) but also slow the Left’s social engineering project by limiting future immigration and getting serious about enforcement. This would strike at the Left’s strategy in two ways — first, obviously, it would slow the artificial, government-engineered increase in the immigrant population. At the same time, by tightening the labor market for less-skilled workers, it would improve the job prospects and earnings of non-college graduates of both sexes and all ethnicities, reducing their economic insecurity and making marriage more feasible for young people without college degrees.


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