Bestselling “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance said in a Thursday interview with Tucker Carlson that the Republican Party does not represent its base well, compared to the Democrats.
“I want to ask you a broader question, the parties have realigned. They don’t represent the same people they thought they represented or that they have represented for the last 70 years. I’m not sure their leaders understand this. But you do. Who do the parties represent as of right now?” Carlson asked.
“Well, at a big level, the Democratic Party increasingly represents professional-class elites,” Vance answered. “Republicans represent middle- and working-class wage earners in the middle of the country. Now, I will say, I think Democratic leaders kind of get this. If you look at the big proposals from the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates—universal child care, debt-free college. Even Medicare-for-all, which is framed as this lurch to the Left, but is really just a big handout to doctors, physicians, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals.” (RELATED: Poll: Democrats Want A ‘Medicare For All’ Presidential Candidate — Like Kamala Harris)
The problem I have is that my party, the Republican Party, hasn’t quite figured out that we basically inherited a big chunk of the old FDR coalition the middle of the country—working and middle class blue-collar folks—sort of people who work, pay their taxes send their kids to the military. That’s increasingly the base of the Republican Party. But the Republican donor elites are actually not aligned with those folks in a lot of ways. So there is this really big mismatch, big picture within the Republican Party.
Carlson responded, “More broadly, what you are saying, I think, is that the Democratic Party understands what it is and who it represents and affirmatively represents them. They do things for their voters. But the Republican Party doesn’t actually represent its own voters very well.”
“Now look at who Republican voters increasingly are. They are people who disproportionately serve in the military but Republican foreign policy has been a disaster for a lot of veterans. They are disproportionately folks who want to have more children,” Vance added. “They are people who want to have more single earner families. They are people who don’t necessarily want to go to college but they want to work in an economy where if you play by the rules can you actually support a family on one income.”
Vance went on to criticize Republican policies over the last “15 or 20 years,” arguing that they have not been helpful to much of their voting base. He also wondered whether or not the leaders of the Republican Party actually care about their voters.