The GOP's crisis of representation

The basic problem of the establishment (and libertarian) GOP isn’t that they are weak and unprincipled. It is that their policy preferences (cutting entitlement spending, cutting taxes on high-earners, and increasing low-skill immigration) are, as a package, toxically unpopular.

The result is that the Paul Ryans of the world resort to misleading euphemism whenever possible. Tax cuts for high-earners become “growth.” Entitlement cuts become “responsibility.” Increasing immigration becomes “starting with border security.” When euphemism fails, then the outright lies begin, but the goals never change — only the method for advancing them.

Republican politicians don’t lie in order to placate an angry media or some overlords in Washington and Davos. The lie so much because they have sincerely bought into the extremely unpopular worldview of a segment of American society. Change begins with seeing the rest of society. For example, only 15 percent of Mexico-born Americans support increasing immigration, and 35 percent of Mexico-born Americans prefer decreasing immigration.