Kevin Williamson at National Review criticizes the Republicans for ignoring the coastal blue states in From Sea to Shining Sea
The modern conservative movement was not a product of the Old South or the Midwest but an intellectual phenomenon that percolated up in Southern California and New York City. (With apologies to Mr. and Mr. Koch, there’s a reason William F. Buckley Jr. did not choose to launch a journal in Wichita.) It’s all good and fine to point to the troubles — and they are many — of the Democrat-dominated states and cities, but in their rhetorical frenzy to abominate the Democrat-leaning parts of the country, Republicans have put themselves at odds with many of our most successful industries, institutions, and communities. Republicans sneer at Silicon Valley and at the elite universities that educate the people who work there. In favor of what? A resentment-driven cultural milieu that insists that the “Real America” is to be found elsewhere, and that the “Real America” looks like Hee-Haw without the music or self-deprecating humor. They insist that San Francisco is Hell on Earth but never ask why it is that so many people want to live there — or they just write off those who do as degenerates and hopelessly un-American.
In 2018, our politics isn’t about policy. It’s about Kulturkampf, which means it is about enemies. For contemporary Republicans, especially those of the Trump-oriented persuasion, that means the people they denounce as “elites” and “globalists.” Trump denounces “elites” and “globalists,” and his partisans find this satisfying. He also spent his first year in office giving those “elites” and “globalists” practically everything they wanted in terms of his policy agenda, including a very large corporate tax cut and the imposition of a territorial tax system — two proposals near and dear to the pinstriped hearts of multinational executives around the world but of relatively little interest to pissed-off underemployed white guys in Garbutt.
It is a money decision. Trump money-balled the electoral college and targeted just enough to win. It is a poor investment to invest in races that are so overwhelmingly blue. The result in the current scenario us that the most populous centers do not get a seat at the table and have little leverage to gain any. Thus the critical loss of the state tax deduction that hurts them disproportionately. (now they have to argue that their wealthy taxpayers deserve a break.)
Black pundit Tony Brown once commented how much more political power blacks would have if only 20% of them voted Republican. They are taken for granted by the Dems, and ignored by the GOP. The same is true of the coastal blue states. By being so overwhelmingly blue they lose political power.
Blue state ideology must include the rest of the country or the blue state loses. Kevin contends that the opposite is also true.
A complex state and economy will always have elites. The founding fathers were elites. The modern elites are so isolated that they have lost touch beyond their enclaves. We need better elites.