Press Releases

Can the GOP Become the Party of the Working Class?
By Batya Ungar-Sargon
February 9, 2022
Common Sense with Bari Weiss - Substack

“GOP voters are working class Americans and they are changing the party.” 

That’s the message that Marco Rubio emphasized when we spoke on the phone a few days ago….

Last week, the Florida senator, together with Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana, introduced a new bill that would require companies with profits over $1 billion … to give workers the opportunity to elect a representative to serve on their corporate boards. The bill, called the Teamwork for Employees and Managers (or TEAM) Act, would also allow the formation of voluntary organizations with employers and employees….


“Federal labor law prevents workers from organizing outside of the formal union process,” Rubio said when I asked him what the TEAM act would look like in practice. “The TEAM Act creates the legal framework to allow them to do that.”...

“We focus so much on things like what is the stock market today? Is it up or is it down? What are the statistics on the unemployment rate, and things of that nature,” Rubio told me. “Those are not meaningless, but they don’t really capture the most important thing an economy does. The most important thing an economy does for a country is create stable, good paying jobs so that people can start families, get involved in their communities and retire with dignity. And so the question becomes: What can we do at the federal level to encourage that kind of economy?”

Over the past half-century, blue collar workers across the country have seen their plants shutter, their salaries stagnate, and a whole way of life upended. That’s because of automation, globalization, China, and the rising cost of American labor tied up with all of the above.

Alongside this, the Democratic Party has gradually abandoned its historical commitments to the working- and middle-classes: good schools, safe neighborhoods, and, most important, social mobility. Instead it has embraced a progressive politics that jibes with the sensibilities of wealthy coastal elites—and has alienated pretty much everyone else. 

Unsurprisingly, a lot of everyone elses are rushing toward the GOP….

“Just think about it: The guys that are trying to work are treated as criminals, and the people burning things down are treated as justified and bailed out and not prosecuted,” Rubio said. “It tells you everything about how they view the working class.”

Read the rest here.