In an AEI speech this week, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) expressed a clear understanding of a major GOP problem:
For the Party of Lincoln to indulge in the politics of privilege is a corruption of everything we are supposed stand for.Pew data drive home the point:
To rescue the nation – and ourselves – from this crisis of unequal opportunity, the Republican Party must return to its own truest self.
Not simply on behalf of those Americans who have fairly worked their way up the ladder of success – but for those still climbing and especially those clinging to the lowest rungs.
For a political party too often seen as out of touch, aligned with the rich, indifferent to the less fortunate, and uninterested in solving the problems of working families, Republicans could not ask for a more worthy cause around which to build a new conservative reform agenda.
And so, the great challenge to the Republican Party is to craft such an agenda that is at once more responsive to the inequality crisis plaguing American society today, and more consistent with our true, conservative principles.
The core of that agenda should be restoring equal opportunity – the natural, God-given right to pursue happiness – to the individuals, communities, and institutions from whom it has been unfairly taken.
This new agenda should ultimately address the ongoing problems of immobility at the bottom of our economy, insecurity within the middle class, and cronyist privilege at the top.
The public sees clear winners and losers as a result of the government’s economic policies following the recession that began in 2008.
In the public’s view, the beneficiaries of these policies are large banks and financial institutions, large corporations and wealthy people, according to a survey conducted earlier this month. Sizable majorities say government policies have helped all three at least a fair amount – 69% say that about large banks and financial institutions, 67% large corporations and 59% wealthy people.
DN_Winners_LosersMeanwhile, fewer than a third say policies implemented by the government following the recession have helped the poor, middle class and small businesses. Roughly seven-in-ten say government policies have done little or nothing to help the poor (72%), the middle class (71%) and small businesses (67%).
There has been little change in these perceptions since the question was last asked in July 2010.