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CELTICEMPIRE
Concerned Citizen
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Posts: 5,826
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« on: February 05, 2017, 05:52:13 PM »

In this post I will attempt to explain the Northern Strategy that I have talked about for several months now.

The Northern Strategy must be understood in context.  After Romney's defeat in 2012 (which wasn't exactly the height of Obama's popularity) Republicans, from the rank-and-file to the party elites wanted to know exactly where the Romney campaign went wrong so the problem could be fixed.  This sounded easy in theory, but no one could agree on what the problem was or the solutions.  The first explanation to come out was that the GOP was too white.  Republicans needed to appeal to the black community, the Hispanic community, or both.  Many people saw Marco Rubio as the candidate to do this.  The second explanation was that the GOP was too socially conservative.  People arguing this pointed to Todd Aiken's defeat in Missouri along with the polls in 2012 suggesting a majority or plurality in favor of same-sex marriage for the first time in history.  These were the more mainstream theories.

Other less accepted theories were that the Romney campaign wasn't conservative enough and he lost because conservatives stayed home.  After all, Romney was pretty moderate.  Ted Cruz was seen as the answer for people who believed this.  There was also the theory that the GOP needed to be more libertarian.  I argued this point during 2014 on this forum.  The idea was that Romney lost because his foreign policy views were too aggressive and out of touch with Americans and he didn't attack Obama on surveillance/civil liberty issues.  Rand Paul was the obvious choice for the libertarians.

All throughout right-wing political forums and comment sections, Republicans argued over how to take back the White House.  It is worth pointing out that many people argued a combination of these theories.  The libertarians were dealt a serious blow after the rise of ISIS and when the GOP rallied against the Iran Deal.  After this, the battle was between Conservatives and moderates.  But then, in June of 2015, everything changed.

On June 16, 2015, Donald John Trump gave a speech announcing his intention to run for President.  At first, most people laughed.  I didn't take it seriously at the time.  I assumed he would finish 5th in Iowa at best and then drop out.  But he defied expectations and won the nomination, despite being despised by many in his own party.  His path to the White House still seemed narrow.  He had to appeal to people that voted for Obama in 2012 if he wanted to win.  Doubly so considering that many Republicans wouldn't vote for him.  The question was, how would he do it?  Minority outreach obviously wasn't going to work for him.  And he couldn't play the "true conservative" card like Cruz could.

His only option, therefore, was the Northern Strategy.  He would appeal to white Democrats.  He would talk about social issues as little as possible while still keeping religious conservatives (who generally didn't support him in the primaries) on board.  He would then use economic populism and fear of Islamic terrorism in order to win over white voters who typically vote Democrat.  And the strategy worked, in no small part due to Hillary's unpopularity.  What most people don't realize is how much of a departure the Northern Strategy is from how Republicans campaigned in the past.

Immigration.  While the GOP has been the party of immigration restriction since the 19th century, the rhetoric is clearly different.  Take the issue of Islamic immigration.  During the 2000s much of the opposition to Islamic immigration came from "America is a Christian country, Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays!"  In 2017 the argument against Islamic immigration is that Muslims are a threat to secularism, to women's rights, and to gay rights.  An irreligious man who typically votes Democrat will ignore the former argument but might be worried about the latter.

Transgender bathrooms.  Trump said that transgender people can use whatever bathrooms they want.  I think it's safe to say that the majority of Republicans along with many Democrats and independents, disagree with Trump (see Houston).   Compare this with how Republicans reacted to the legalization of SSM in Massachusetts in 2004.  Republicans made gay marriage a central campaign issue and it probably got Bush reelected.  Furthermore, in 2004 the Republicans used social issues to appeal to minorities and immigrants.  This is a significant change.

The Republican Party of the future will continue to pursue the Northern Strategy.  2016 proved that it could get a candidate as unpopular as Trump elected.  It also proved that there are still a large number of minorities that will vote Republican.  By the mid 2020s the transformation should be mostly complete.  Sure, there will still be libertarians, social conservatives, etc. but they will be increasingly marginalized as populism becomes the official ideology.  America will continue to be less and less religious, and regular religious attendance will become associated with immigrant populations.  Republicans will position themselves as saviors of secularism against immigrants from the third world.  In other words, the American right is becoming like the European right.  Hardcore fiscal conservatism will fall out of favor as well, and the GOP will move to the left on economics.

Thoughts?
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CELTICEMPIRE
Concerned Citizen
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Posts: 5,826
Georgia



« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 09:42:19 AM »

I don't understand how the GOP executes the Northern strategy without abandoning their Southern and Interior West base, and the evangelical conservatives. I would assume there would need to be a sea change in American politics for the Northern Strategy to be effective, since it would effectively repudiate the Reagan coalition. E.g, it would shift the GOP coalition to the North, with an intent to be competitive in working class pockets of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, as well as New Jersey.

The big problem is that the Southern evangelicals and the cultural conservatives have an iron grip on the Party's nomination. They were among Trump's best supporters in the primaries. Trump pledged conservative judges, which is anathema to the Northern areas that may support Trump and a more moderate economically minded GOP but are turned off by the social issues.

This Northern strategy assumes the collapse of the GOP's evangelical core, which would assume they became powerless, which is not quite happening without a major event to convince the GOP to shift from the Reagan formula. I don't see that absent a sea change in American politics, on the order of say, the post-World War II political regime shifting to the left drastically in Europe and the Conservatives coping by adopting the strategy you outline.

Your Northern strategy, in other words, IMO, may make sense but it only makes sense in the context of the Democrats realigning the country and the GOP responding by adopting your strategy to stay viable.

I don't think you understand how much Christianity is declining in this country.  And thus the GOP will portray itself as the protector of secularism against religious immigrants.  This is basically what's happening in Europe.
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CELTICEMPIRE
Concerned Citizen
*****
Posts: 5,826
Georgia



« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2017, 06:43:35 PM »

I don't understand how the GOP executes the Northern strategy without abandoning their Southern and Interior West base, and the evangelical conservatives. I would assume there would need to be a sea change in American politics for the Northern Strategy to be effective, since it would effectively repudiate the Reagan coalition. E.g, it would shift the GOP coalition to the North, with an intent to be competitive in working class pockets of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, as well as New Jersey.

The big problem is that the Southern evangelicals and the cultural conservatives have an iron grip on the Party's nomination. They were among Trump's best supporters in the primaries. Trump pledged conservative judges, which is anathema to the Northern areas that may support Trump and a more moderate economically minded GOP but are turned off by the social issues.

This Northern strategy assumes the collapse of the GOP's evangelical core, which would assume they became powerless, which is not quite happening without a major event to convince the GOP to shift from the Reagan formula. I don't see that absent a sea change in American politics, on the order of say, the post-World War II political regime shifting to the left drastically in Europe and the Conservatives coping by adopting the strategy you outline.

Your Northern strategy, in other words, IMO, may make sense but it only makes sense in the context of the Democrats realigning the country and the GOP responding by adopting your strategy to stay viable.

I don't think you understand how much Christianity is declining in this country.  And thus the GOP will portray itself as the protector of secularism against religious immigrants.  This is basically what's happening in Europe.

I doubt that the shrinking base of Christian conservatives will allow this to happen. At the least they'll fight tooth and nail. Most Republican politicians and voters are very religious still, and many are just as religious as the immigrants they oppose. Democrats have been the relatively-secular party, but in the future (as they are now) I see them being a pluralist party, meaning that they accommodate different religions and ethnicity under their coalition. Republicans under Trump will continue down the path of being a white Christian party unless they change something.

Older Republicans will continue to care about social issues.  But the younger Republicans do not share their concerns.  The right-wing presence on the internet is largely focused on other issues.  Since at least 2015 anti-SJW culture has been a major part of Conservatism.  Anti-SJW culture is not very socially conservative (many who support it are atheists).  And anti-SJW culture is enormously popular with younger Republicans, the future of the party.

Many Republican politicians are publicly religious to pander for votes.  The political elite in the GOP wants to abandon social conservatism now that it isn't as useful as it was in 2004.  There will be very little resistance from them.  Just take a look at the fact that Republicans aren't exploiting the transgender bathroom issue like they did with gay marriage.  Social issues are clearly no longer a focus of the GOP.
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CELTICEMPIRE
Concerned Citizen
*****
Posts: 5,826
Georgia



« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2017, 08:51:00 PM »

I don't understand how the GOP executes the Northern strategy without abandoning their Southern and Interior West base, and the evangelical conservatives. I would assume there would need to be a sea change in American politics for the Northern Strategy to be effective, since it would effectively repudiate the Reagan coalition. E.g, it would shift the GOP coalition to the North, with an intent to be competitive in working class pockets of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, as well as New Jersey.

The big problem is that the Southern evangelicals and the cultural conservatives have an iron grip on the Party's nomination. They were among Trump's best supporters in the primaries. Trump pledged conservative judges, which is anathema to the Northern areas that may support Trump and a more moderate economically minded GOP but are turned off by the social issues.

This Northern strategy assumes the collapse of the GOP's evangelical core, which would assume they became powerless, which is not quite happening without a major event to convince the GOP to shift from the Reagan formula. I don't see that absent a sea change in American politics, on the order of say, the post-World War II political regime shifting to the left drastically in Europe and the Conservatives coping by adopting the strategy you outline.

Your Northern strategy, in other words, IMO, may make sense but it only makes sense in the context of the Democrats realigning the country and the GOP responding by adopting your strategy to stay viable.

I don't think you understand how much Christianity is declining in this country.  And thus the GOP will portray itself as the protector of secularism against religious immigrants.  This is basically what's happening in Europe.

I doubt that the shrinking base of Christian conservatives will allow this to happen. At the least they'll fight tooth and nail. Most Republican politicians and voters are very religious still, and many are just as religious as the immigrants they oppose. Democrats have been the relatively-secular party, but in the future (as they are now) I see them being a pluralist party, meaning that they accommodate different religions and ethnicity under their coalition. Republicans under Trump will continue down the path of being a white Christian party unless they change something.

Older Republicans will continue to care about social issues.  But the younger Republicans do not share their concerns.  The right-wing presence on the internet is largely focused on other issues.  Since at least 2015 anti-SJW culture has been a major part of Conservatism.  Anti-SJW culture is not very socially conservative (many who support it are atheists).  And anti-SJW culture is enormously popular with younger Republicans, the future of the party.

Many Republican politicians are publicly religious to pander for votes.  The political elite in the GOP wants to abandon social conservatism now that it isn't as useful as it was in 2004.  There will be very little resistance from them.  Just take a look at the fact that Republicans aren't exploiting the transgender bathroom issue like they did with gay marriage.  Social issues are clearly no longer a focus of the GOP.

You do realize that the SJWs are pushing for very liberal social policies, and the people who push back against it do because they realize they're insane.  Anyway, we're not going away (the youngest generation is arguably the most against abortion of any generation, for example).  Social conservatives are a HUGE voting block, and the GOP would be dead without us.

I don't support the Northern Strategy, I'm just saying it's a reality (and in some ways the logical conclusion of the Southern Strategy).

The GOP can retain social conservatives because the Democrats are always going to be at least one step ahead of them.  The GOP is rapidly moving left on social issues, just not as rapidly as the Democrats.  Religion is declining in America and it would be declining much faster if it wasn't for immigrants.  Soon enough an atheist who lives in Boston is going to realize that the biggest threat to social liberalism in America is not Joe the farmer who lives in Missouri (as it used to be), it's the immigrant who lives only a few blocks away.  When this happens in large numbers throughout America's cities and suburbs, there will be a massive wave of Middle and Upper-class xenophobia.  As much as I hate to say it, the GOP is probably going to pander to these people.  Of course, many Republicans will dissent, but their voices will be increasingly marginalized.
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CELTICEMPIRE
Concerned Citizen
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Posts: 5,826
Georgia



« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2017, 12:55:19 PM »

This could be the typical map in the near future:



This is an example of what a Republican landslide might look like under the Northern Strategy:



And when we see this map the Northern Strategy is on it's way out (probably in 2048):

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CELTICEMPIRE
Concerned Citizen
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Posts: 5,826
Georgia



« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2017, 11:43:30 PM »

CELTICEmpire, one of the reasons I disagree with you is that by all accounts, the GOP base is far more religious than the voter base of the Democrats.  And even young Republicans are overwhelmingly pro-life (yes, some of the alt-right ones on the Internet aren't, but most on the ground are) despite being more liberal on other social issues.  Furthermore, it's very hard to envision the GOP being the "defenders of secularism" against a Democratic Party that has lurched greatly leftward on social issues, from transgender rights to harsh restrictions on religious liberty (such as SB 1146 in California, of great concern to Evangelicals, especially for its precedent-setting effect).   Interestingly, the rapidly increasing diversity of the Democratic Party hasn't even slowed this progress down at all, despite the relatively higher religiosity of Latinos and blacks.   So while I agree the GOP will secularize, I could never see a plausible situation in which it becomes more hospital to voters who prioritize secularism over the Democratic Party.  Perhaps immigration will change matters, but the simple fact is that the Democratic Party has gotten far less white (and has more 1st-generation immigrants) over the past few decades, and it has gotten more pro-choice and secular, not less.

Are young Republicans pro-life?  I'm pleasantly surprised by that.

As for Republican religiosity, that is declining.  And much of modern American Christianity, especially in the Bible Belt is the "God and country" type.  Many of these people worship American culture while thinking they are worshiping God.  They are often more concerned about "Happy Holidays" than abortion.

While it may seem odd that the GOP would abandon its stance on life, remember that political parties have betrayed their constituencies when it is convenient for them (i.e. Southern Strategy).  Religious people will continue voting Republican because the Democrats are worse.  Religious conservatives might fight against this, but they will lose.  When one group has public opinion on its side and the other has money on its side, the side with the money wins 9/10 times.  The Republican elite despises Evangelicals while applauding them for being good footsoldiers.  Social Conservatives may have the numbers within the GOP but the Northern Strategy has the money.  Trump won't even protect religious liberty, that shows how much he cares about a large number of his voters.

As for the Democrats, white liberals control the party.  Sure, large numbers of black and Hispanic voters are religious, but, like the Evangelicals in the GOP, they are the footsoldiers and not the political elite.  And white Democrats are moving very quickly to the left on social issues.  The "spiritual but not religious" types will remain part of the Democrat base.  But I think that many of the hardcore atheists will be horrified by religious immigrants moving into Boston, New York, and San Francisco, and will want to do anything to keep these cities secular, even if it means voting Republican.  The local Republican Parties in these cities are already socially liberal.

As I heard a British Christian once say (I'm paraphrasing): "30 years ago, Britain was in the same situation spiritually as the United States."  Right-wingers in the Netherlands are already promoting themselves as the defenders of social liberalism.
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CELTICEMPIRE
Concerned Citizen
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Posts: 5,826
Georgia



« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2017, 03:43:46 PM »

Here's the link regarding young Republicans' beliefs on abortion.  They actually support legal abortion even less than older ones:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2014/03/11/young_republicans_are_even_more_likely_than_old_republicans_to_oppose_legal.html


Also, the Hispanic and black congresspeople in majority-minority districts vote almost identically on social issues to other whites.

There are actually a few social conservative black and Hispanic Democratic politicians.  I think some of the Texas Hispanic Democrats fall into this category.  There is also Reuben Diaz.  IIRC a good number of local Hawaii Democrats are socially conservative as well.  If these people were in mostly white districts in MA or VT they would have been primaried.

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One of the reasons for this is that Evangelicals are more numerous than socially conservative minorities.  Add to that the fact that a lot of socially conservative Hispanics already vote Republican.

I would dispute your claim that immigration has not made our country more socially conservative, just look at what happened in your state in 2008.  IIRC the majority of whites voted against Prop 8, but it passed anyway.  The West is becoming less and less religious while the rest of the world is not (if anything it could be getting more religious).  As this trend continues, provided immigration isn't shut off, it will have a noticeable impact.  Let's say that in 2040 only 25% of the native-born population holds views that we would consider "socially conservative" today.  Let's say that number is 65% for new immigrants.  Social conservatism would be associated with immigrants, especially in large urban areas where the locals are even less religious/socially conservative.  I heard someone once say that the future of American Evangelicalism is in immigrant communities.

Immigration won't be enough to counter the increasing liberalism of white America.  Consider the contempt that much of middle and upper class America has for "Jesusland."  This contempt extends to many upper class Republicans as well, they might love the votes they get, but they laugh at Evangelicals in private.  I just can't see them being too comfortable when religious immigrants with socially conservative views come to their cities in large numbers.  While the GOP in Tennessee will continue to appeal to religious conservatives, the GOP in New York will be railing against the "backwards" views of new immigrants.
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CELTICEMPIRE
Concerned Citizen
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Posts: 5,826
Georgia



« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2017, 03:46:21 PM »

"Right-wingers in the Netherlands are already promoting themselves as the defenders of social liberalism."

Yeah, see, the problem is that the right-wing hates social liberalism. It's hypocritical for them to claim that they defend it. In reality, they're using xenophobia to drive a wedge between social liberals and immigrant groups who would ally with the socially liberal parties on economic issues.

It seems to be helping the far-right in the Netherlands gain traction.  I don't see why it won't eventually work in America.

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I'm convinced that the next wave of immigration will be from Sub-Saharan Africa.
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CELTICEMPIRE
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Posts: 5,826
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2017, 06:10:23 PM »

Interesting feedback.  I think my mistake is that I predicted this to happen too soon.  I think that what I predicted will happen eventually, but maybe a few more decades down the road.
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