Who killed the New Majority?
The Republican National Committee has produced an “autopsy” on what went wrong in 2012, when the party failed to win the White House and lost seats in Congress. Yet, the crisis of the Grand Old Party goes back much further.
The Frank Lloyd Wright of the New Majority was Richard Nixon, who picked up the pieces of the party after Goldwater's defeat had left Republicans with just a third of the House and Senate. In 1966, Nixon led the GOP back to a stunning victory, picking up 47 House seats. In 1968, he united the Rockefeller and Reagan wings and held off an October surge by Hubert Humphrey.
In 1972, Nixon swept 49 states. The New Majority was born. How did he do it? Nixon sliced off from FDR's New Deal coalition Northern Catholics and ethnics and Southern Christian conservatives.
What killed the New Majority?
First, there was mass immigration, which brought in 40-50 million people, legal and illegal, poor and working class, and almost all from the Third World. The GOP agreed to the importation of a vast new constituency that is now kicking the GOP into an early grave.
Second came party acquiescence in dropping half the nation off the income tax rolls, while making half dependent on government for food assistance, income support, rent, health care and the education of their kids from Head Start through Pell Grants. Why should the half of America that pays no taxes but survives on federal benefits vote for a party that will cut taxes they do not pay but roll back benefits upon which they depend?
Third, to accommodate its K Street bundlers, the GOP embraced globalism, empowering corporate America to shed its U.S. labor force, move its plants to Mexico, Asia and China, bring its foreign-made goods back to the USA free of charge and pocket the difference. The Reagan Democrats of industrial America — who paid the price in lost jobs and shuttered plants — have now gone home to the party of their fathers. And they are not coming back.
Fourth, rather than bringing the troops home after our Cold War triumph and telling our allies the free rides were over, Bush I and II went crusading for a “New World Order” to “end tyranny in our world.” After three wars and half a dozen interventions, we are bankrupt at home and hated abroad.
Yet, one matter over which the GOP had no control is the triumph of the counterculture. Americans who adhere to traditional morality, rooted in Christian tradition and biblical truth, are culturally outgunned and may now be outnumbered.
What can the GOP do about this? Nothing. What will the GOP do? Probably declare itself “tolerant” and respectful of all views, pro-life and pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage and pro-traditional marriage.
Reality must be faced. A generation has grown up rejecting the truths that its grandparents lived. And while population growth among our native born halted decades ago, scores of millions have come in from abroad to fill the empty spaces. They like what Big Government has to offer and seem uninterested in what the GOP has to sell.
Yet, if the GOP changes its product, it may just lose its most loyal customers. When the obituary of the party is written, the subhead will likely read “Dead of self-inflicted wounds.”
Pat Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”