Peter Morici, professor of international business at the University of Maryland, joined Breitbart News Daily with host Stephen K. Bannon on Tuesday morning to talk about his article “Decadence, Not the Donald, Is Destroying the GOP.”
“The establishment GOP is woefully out of date in its viewpoint, and outlook. It’s frankly a captive of CPAC, and fundamentalist Christians, and the like,” Morici contended.
“The two major wings, represented by Kasich, Bush, and others, and Cruz representing the fundamentalists – neither can really muster an electoral majority outside their home base,” he continued. “And even some of them can’t do that. In the big cities, on the East and West Coasts, they simply lose, and lose badly. And neither polls very well, or well enough, against Hillary Clinton, to really be credible.”
The “decadence” Morici highlighted in his article refers to the collapsing birthrates among the groups that have traditionally provided conservatives with voting muscle. “Whites in America, middle-class whites – people that we thought of as the center of American politics in the Fifties and Sixties, and that brought Reagan to power in the Eighties – have largely declined, both in influence and in numbers,” he explained. “We are now an electorate of many small groups, and the Democrats can put together a Christmas tree of benefits that don’t move the country forward, but just make the country even more dependent on benefits, cycle after cycle, and slow growth.”
“The notion of hard-working middle-class people that go on to establish companies, invent things, provide the intellectual sinew that drives the country forward – they’re just not generating kids,” he said.
Morici lamented that instead of building forward to create stronger generations, too many modern families have decided to “live really well in the short term, and then generate a lot of dysfunctional kids,” or avoid having children at all.
He noted that birth rates began declining back when the U.S. economy was doing quite well, so the blame lies more with a “self-indulgent libertine culture” than parents worrying about a lack of opportunities for their children in a weak economy.
“Whatever last year’s cultural mores were, this year are considered to be old-fashioned, obsolete, and not particularly useful,” Morici said. “That kind of mentality is driving it.”
The decadent culture Morici described is highly aggressive, relentlessly attacking traditional values at every turn. “I don’t think the folks in Hollywood care nearly as much about gay marriage, or gay rights, as they care about putting a thumb in the eye of the Establishment, sort of ridiculing this idealized America they put on the screen,” he said.
“On the one hand, they’re producing Leave It to Beaver, and on the other hand, they’re denigrating the American way of life,” he continued. “They like to consider themselves cutting-edge intellectuals, when really all they’re doing is mimicking the lives of really productive people.”
On the other side of the cultural divide, Morici saw Donald Trump as a savior figure for the declining white middle class – a man of little substance, but with strong emotional appeal to “low-information voters.”
“It’s foolish to think that there’s much substance behind Trump, as much as he throws out phrases and jargon that is attractive to the guys that still smoke – the sons of white middle class people who couldn’t get it together, and are now the ones that are deeply unemployed, prominent among the seven million man army of those who neither work, nor look for a job, between the ages of 25 and 54,” he said.
“He appeals to them. They think that if somehow or other, he comes in and builds a wall with Mexico, and gets tough with China, that will solve their problems,” Morici continued. “We certainly need to enforce our border, and have a reasonable trade relationship with China, which we do not have right now. But these guys aren’t going to solve their problems and get a new pickup truck, simply because he does that.”
However misguided these voters might be in their devotion to Trump, Morici gave them credit for accurately sensing that “Establishment Republicans don’t have their interests at heart.”
“They’re really liberals in their behavior. They talk right, but they govern left,” he said of the GOP Establishment. “You look at the list of social issues we expected George W. Bush to address, things that Bill Clinton put in motion and put forward – they largely continued during his time. He may have slowed them down a bit, but he was not willing to pull anything out by the roots.”
“This is the calculus of Barack Obama. All these executive orders he plans on putting in place over the next several months – that even if there is a Republican, he won’t dare the political heat to pull them out, to basically cancel them,” Morici warned. “When Ted Cruz says he’s going to cancel all of Obama’s executive orders, I say: ‘Now there walks a naive man, or someone with very little respect for the intelligence of the American people.’ Some of them, once they’re done, cannot be undone, because expectations are established, and people make economic decisions.”
Morici also gave the disaffected white middle-class male credit for accurately perceiving that their wages and job prospects have declined over the last 20 years, because “the whole system is now rigged against him.”
“At the same time, the Ivy League graduates, and those that go to the very prestigious state universities – the Michigan States and so forth, the Universities of North Carolina – they’ve never had it better. They’re living extraordinarily well. They move quickly into six-figure jobs in their 20s, and on from there. More importantly, the leaders among them – the Bushes, for example – have grown very wealthy these last 20 years.”
As examples, he cited the growing wealth of the Bush family, and of Democrat leaders like economist Larry Summers, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who accumulated enormous fortunes through speaking fees.
“They figured out that there isn’t much difference between the Republican and the Democratic establishments,” Morici said, describing how alienated middle-class voters view the elite. “They grow wealthy at their expense. They preach free trade, even though it victimizes them. They profit from immigration, even though it destroys their jobs, and literally takes the bread from their children’s mouth.”
“But in terms of creating in their minds a model for a resurrected America, Donald Trump is nothing but a man on the white horse,” he concluded. “He’s very remindful of the people who are going to rescue Latin American countries, in the days of a dictator. His behavior, and his contempt for everyone around him, would indicate that he is someone that should not offer Americans promise, but rather should elicit fear.”
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You can listen to the full interview with Dr. Peter Morici below: