Capitolism: The defining issue of the 2020 elections
This presidential election, if Democrats have their way, will be about the divide between the "rich" and the "poor," the exploiters and the exploited, the powerful and the powerless — the whole familiar and failed idea that Americans are divided by classes and that the champions of the poor are always right.
There is a vast chasm in America today — that is true enough — but America is not divided by class, but rather by geography, by physical proximity to power. The real problem in America is not capitalism, but capitolism, the limitless unchecked power in Washington and the rest of the Beltway (that tiny sliver of America composed of those states running along the East Coast from Washington to Boston — and the California coastline) and the rest of America.
Lurking behind this divide is the nauseating stench of gleeful bigotry by the geographically empowered towards the geographically disempowered. In unguarded moments, Democrats give voice to that Beltway bigotry, such as when Obama spoke of people in rural America "bitterly clinging to their guns and religion" and when Hillary's spoke of "deplorable" Americans, or in the repellant "Jesusland" electoral map invented by nasty little leftists after President Bush won re-election in 2004.
No parody of Americans in Flyover Country and their values is too crude to bother these Democrats. The self-serving conclusion Democrats draw from their hateful view of Flyover Country is that Americans who live outside the Beltway or coastal California must have stern federal overlords. Democrats are nothing less than imperialists, arrogant colonial officials lecturing and hectoring the native populations in Flyover Country. Indeed, capitolism is imperialism.
This regional myopia shows up in whom Democrats choose as their leaders. In 2016, the Democrat presidential nominee was from New York, and her running mate was from Virginia. The top Democrat candidates in 2020 are Biden from Delaware, Sanders from Vermont, and Warren from Massachusetts, Harris from California, and Booker from New Jersey. The Democrat leader in the Senate is from New York, the speaker of the House is from San Francisco, and the House majority leader is from Maryland.ouH
Republicans ought to make the capitolism of Democrats, this ill concealed contempt for most of America, the heart of their national political campaigns. The vast majority of Senate seats are in Flyover Country as well as a majority of both electoral votes and House seats. Why have Republicans missed this chance?
Almost all the Republican or conservative media are also in the Beltway, and everyone in Congress virtually lives in Washington. New York and Washington are the center of all national media, whatever its perspective. Washington also is the true center of wealth in America, as every survey of the richest counties in America shows, and Republicans and conservatives in Washington profit from the high incomes and property values in those counties surrounding the District of Columbia. These folks profit from Washington government power and New York media power just like Democrats and leftists so that even well intentioned Republicans and conservatives in the Beltway simply cannot understand Flyover Country or its grievances.
The peaceful, constitutional revolution our nations needs, however, must start somewhere, and only the Republican Party could undertake this effort. What should be the elements of grand reform?
Devolve the administration of almost all federal programs to state governments, which would mean huge numbers of new jobs in states at the expense of Washington. Move the actual headquarters of these federal programs to states that have more expertise. Move, for example, the Department of Agriculture to Nebraska, the Department of the Interior to Utah, the Department of Energy to Oklahoma, and so on. This would move more high-paying federal jobs out of Washington and into America.
Congress can meet anywhere. Republicans, if they control Congress, can move the meeting place of Congress every couple of years, so why not promise that if Republicans control Congress, it will meet in 2021 in Iowa or Alabama or Idaho? Republicans could promise to move some agency headquarters and meeting places of Congress to swing states in Flyover Country that Democrats desperately need, like Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.
Finally, Republicans should hammer home again and again that they represent the exploited and powerless and force Democrats to overtly champion the rich and powerful. Republicans should make sure that Americans in Flyover Country grasp that their greatest enemy is the capitolism that so infects everything Democrats do. It is good policy, and it is great politics.