Leader of the House Republican Study Committee (RSC) Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), in a memo (pdf) to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), laid out how to build on the working-class voter base that former president Donald Trump gifted the party.
“President Trump gave the Republican Party a political gift: we are now the party supported by most working-class voters,” Banks wrote.
The RSC has been the largest conservative caucus of House Republicans since 1973. Banks outlined his strategy for taking back the majority in the House for 2022 and beyond by solidifying the GOP as the party for the working class.
In 2020, Republicans captured 13 seats in the House, taking their total to 213 and narrowing the leading Democrats’ hold at 222. The strategy the GOP used in 2020, which focused on safety and security in the wake of the defund the police campaign unleashed by Democrats, is similar to what Banks is suggesting for 2022.
“Donald Trump won the Presidency in 2016 by drawing working-class voters into the GOP. During the 2020 race, he drew on the same base of support, receiving an unprecedented number of votes and boosting Republican candidates across the country,” the memo states.
Banks goes on to say working-class people in certain occupations “overwhelmingly supported” President Trump in 2020. Trump got more votes from mechanics, small business owners, and custodians, whereas Biden got more votes from college professors, bankers, and marketing professionals.
“In 2020, Wall Street donated four times more to Joe Biden than Donald Trump. President Trump didn’t just shift each party’s role, he caused a paradigm reversal,” wrote Banks.
Banks asserts that this shift is not temporary or dependent on Trump being the president but a permanent “transformation” of the two parties. The Afghan veteran said although some in the GOP dislike the shift, the vast majority of the party embraces the change and does not want to return to a pre-Trump era where the party ignored working-class voters.
Banks says the party should unite around the new coalition of the working class and build on it for the midterm elections. He suggests focusing on policies that working-class voters have shown they care about, including illegal immigration, trade with China, Anti-Wokeness, and Big Tech censorship.
The Indiana congressman said the GOP should highlight the Biden immigration policies that support illegal immigration in contrast to Trump policies which support legal immigration and public safety and security. Recent polls found that the majority of voters care about the border issue and consider the current situation at the southern border a crisis.
The second policy area that Banks wants to contrast is trade and bringing jobs back to the United States. The congressman writes that GOP must continue to oppose, “the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) predatory trade practices and support for trade policies that promote American industry and create American jobs.”
He said that the GOP should continue to be tough on the CCP and make it clear that their opposition to China is a result of their support for working families and “the reverse is true: Democrats’ coziness with China results from their coziness with Wall Street.”
Next, Banks said that Republicans should highlight how “Wokeness” and identity politics, “aren’t pro-Hispanic, pro-African American, or pro-LGBTQ: they’re anti-American, anti-women, and most of all, anti-working class.” He said the party should continue to oppose defunding the police efforts and the Democrats’ Equality Act.
The Democrats’ Equality Act is advertised as a transgender anti-discrimination bill, but opponents say it infringes on religious freedom and will impact all aspects of daily life including athletic programs, hospitals, doctors, adoption agencies, shelters, prisons, insurance companies, schools, and businesses.
In addition, Banks suggests showing voters how CCP virus lockdowns implemented by Democrats have hurt the economy and how the GOP opposed lockdowns because they would hurt small businesses. He also pointed out that Democrats supported the lockdowns because their donors profited.
He cites that “between April and September of 2020, 45 of the 50 most valuable publicly traded U.S. companies made money. By December this year, nearly 20 percent of U.S. restaurants had shut down permanently due to the pandemic.”
Exposing Big Tech’s censorship of conservatives and upholding the right to free speech are two more policy positions that the congressman thinks will win over voters. He also suggests continuing legislative efforts to hold Big Tech accountable for how they moderate content. He thinks bills should focus on eliminating child pornography from the internet, patent systems, and anti-competitive practices.
He also wants to see candidates put greater efforts into getting individual and digital donations, and contrast that to big-dollar donations that Democrats get from liberal PACs.
Banks urges GOP candidates to hold working-class roundtables to hear what their constituents want and establish a working-class task force, which would be tasked with producing a report on GOP endorsed policies that protect American jobs, promote working-class values and working-class families.
“Democrats will keep alienating working-class voters because that’s what their donors demand, and Republicans should welcome them with open arms by fully embracing an agenda that’s worthy of their support.”