|Ayn Rand: Goddess of the Republican "Establishment"|
George Wallace: Donald Trump's spiritual ancestor.
March 3, 2016
It’s time someone explained what commentators mean by the Republican “Establishment.” Here’s my answer.
Since the 1960s, the Republican party has had two very distinct constituencies:
1) The Ayn Rand Republicans. These are the red-baiting laissez-faire country-club capitalists: Goldwater, Nixon, Reagan, the Koch brothers, Romney. They are mostly well-to-do—upper middle-class and richer. Many are professionals. Many own businesses. They love their money. They hate Commies. They are still fighting the Cold War. They see blue-collar workers as their water carriers, to be exploited. They have no respect for the very workers they are exploiting. (See how the Kochs use the Tea Party.) They embrace the status quo and fight like hell to combat change, especially if it threatens their bottom line.
2) The George Wallace Republicans. These are less-educated, white, working-class, racially embittered folks. Since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Republicans have actively, and successfully, courted them, mosty, but not only, in the South. They believe “their” country is being taken over by people with whom they do not share skin color, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. They hate even the idea of foreigners entering the country. Many would prefer to see a return to an earlier era when blacks “knew their place,” when Jews and atheists were rarities, when “gay” meant “gleeful,” when women stayed at home to raise the kids, and when no one knew the difference between an Iraqi Sunni and an Oklahoma Sooner.
When people discuss the Republican “establishment,” they are talking, pure and simple, about the Ayn Rand Republicans. For years, this “establishment" has won elections by exploiting the fears of the George Wallace Republicans. Now the chickens have come home to roost: Donald Trump is leading the George Wallace Republicans against the Ayn Rand Republicans, and the latter ("The Establishment") are terrified that they are losing control of the ignorant masses whose votes they have bought so cheaply for years. You could see the fear in Mitt Romney's eyes this morning when he attacked Trump. What he was imagining was the Great Unwashed storming his limousine.
(Note: For those who are not familiar with Ayn Rand, you can read my take here.)