Matt Rooney calls out the Democrats on their hypocrisy

This is a must read from Matt Rooney – one of New Jersey brightest Republican stars (and, hopefully, a future candidate for public office).  Rooney is a South Jersey attorney and editor of the Save Jersey news website.  He often teams up with NJ 101.5’s Bill Spadea both on radio and on Fox’s Chasing News program.

Rooney’s latest column is titled, As rich white guys battle for control, N.J. Democrats’ rhetoric doesn’t match their reality.  In it, Rooney makes these important points:  

For all the progressive/woke/social justice warrior BS we hear from New Jersey Democrats these days, their party’s power structure is remarkably simple and boils down to two mega rich white guys (Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive and Norcross, a labor leader turned insurance industry titan) battling over the Garden State’s Iron Throne.

Power, money, tax credits, crony capitalism, special legislation… even loyalty oaths.

…My issue here is one of intellectual integrity. The public sector unions are powerful, you bet, but the NJEA couldn’t touch Steve Sweeney (the Senate President and the Norcross-led machine’s top elected asset) in the 2017 election.

Diversity gets a lot of lip service from the Left in this state, but New Jersey’s most powerful Democrat decision-makers (Murphy, Sweeney, Norcross, Assembly Speaker Coughlin) are all older white dudes. We hear a lot about the “working class” from Trenton, but each and every policy and budget are designed to put the screws to taxpayers in favor of keeping these rich guys and their power structures chugging right along.

What I’m saying is that Democrats’ lofty rhetoric doesn’t match their reality. On either side of this fight. New Jersey’s true form of government is a blend of socialism and oligarchy (with a sprinkle of kleptocracy for good measure).

They may disagree with one another on tax credits and a small handful of other issues, but Leftist economic policies supported by both sides of the Murphy-Norcross divide haven’t helped the Middle Class in this state. New Jersey’s women, minority communities, and millennials are being left out of the economic BOOM sweeping the rest of the country as a direct result of the aforementioned bad decision and sometimes self-serving business decisions of the Democrat power elite which has dominated the legislature (and therefore Trenton) for almost two full decades.

Helping the Middle Class = lowering property taxes. None of these guys are talking about that. Ever wonder why?

Yes, why indeed?

You can read Matt Rooney’s entire column here…

https://savejersey.com/2019/05/as-rich-white-guys-battle-for-control-n-j-democrats-rhetoric-doesnt-match-their-reality/

New Jersey GOP: Don’t be afraid to be Republicans.

By Rubashov

A weekend before the NJGOP held its Leadership Summit in Atlantic City, New Jersey, two contributors to this website attended a gathering of conservative academics and writers and journalists, hosted by an organization founded by the late William F. Buckley Jr.  The 500 present where in Philadelphia to enjoy a nice dinner and listen to a lecture by a writer named Rod Dreher.

Rod Dreher is the senior editor of the national magazine and website, The American Conservative.  This is the publication that predicted the fall of the Bush dynasty and the rise of Donald Trump.  They wrote about the populist shift in GOP politics when most Washington-based journalists were confidently predicting that Paul Ryan was the next big thing.

Dreher wrote a book last year that set the academic world talking.  It was debated in all those places that thoughtful Republicans go to figure out what the world is, and how they – and what they believe – fit into it.  Conservative journalists and think tanks debated the vision Dreher presented – and the book was a popular success, a “New York Times Bestseller”, in fact.

The book is called The Benedict Option (A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation).  It calls for Christian conservatives to reassess their relationships with the outside world – with institutions like the Republican Party and corporate America. 

Once upon a time, conservatives gave their votes to “pro-business” corporatists and in exchange received their “protection” on policies impacting traditional values.  The battle over same-sex marriage ended all that, exposing the business community as cheerleaders for the materialistic “sex and shopping” culture that sustains their short-term profits.  

In response to this and other betrayals, Dreher suggests that believers prepare themselves for a hard time, for a period not unlike that suffered by eastern Christianity during the Communist occupation of their nations and cultures.  The idea is to hold oneself apart, become stronger in belief and in practice, and build new institutions outside the hubbub and the madness.

David Brooks of the New York Times wrote that The Benedict Option was the most important and discussed book in a decade.  Russell Moore, of the Southern Baptist Convention, called the book prophetic and something every Christian should read.  Many have.  And they are starting to look at things differently, and beginning to reassess.

It's not only conservative Christians who are recoiling from a betrayal by the Establishment of which they once thought themselves a part.  Working class Americans of all ethnicities, creeds, and genders have given up on a Democratic Party obsessed with global capitalism and a Labor movement that threw them over for an immigration agenda that bloats the gray economy and threatens their jobs.  In his book, The Unwinding, An Inner History of the New America (2013), George Packer extended this loss of connection and idea of betrayal to the broader American middle class.  Meanwhile, libertarians are aghast at the growing regulatory police state and endless “war” economy.  While the election of Donald Trump has left many old-time, business-centric Republicans wondering who is who and what is what. 

Since Rod Dreher's lecture, there have been two regional meetings to discuss the practical implications of The Benedict Option on a state by state, party by party basis.  In each case, an individual reassessment is being made.  One political party organization that appears disconnected to its natural electorate is the Republican Party in New Jersey.  Indeed, it is such to the point of it being said not to possess an electorate at all, but rather a collection of voters who still notionally respond to the word “Republican”.

In arriving at this assessment, the discussion focused on what is a political party and how does it devolve the further it gets from its center.  In other words, everyone knows what it means to be a Republican and this reflects the generalizations held about the party nationally or globally.  But the further away you get from the center the greater the opportunity is for that message or "brand" to be corrupted, and its meaning lost. 

So what is the Republican Party – once we get down to the state level or county level – in a place like New Jersey?

(1) Is it the sum of the beliefs and aspirations of its members, as expressed every four years in a party platform?

(2) Or is it the network of profitable business interests of those who occupy leadership positions within the party?

This isn't a gibe at the leadership of the New Jersey GOP but rather a basic philosophical question.  Those engaged in this discussion are strongly influenced by Edmund Burke, who wrote:  "The principles of true politics are those of morality enlarged."

Burke considered politics to be a branch of ethics.  This separated him from Machiavelli and the modern political tradition which holds that "power" is supreme.

In light of this, the question above is posed.

So, will the NJGOP be guided by morality and ethics – and a written set of principles – or will it merely be a vehicle for men seeking power and the financial opportunities that flow from it?

Once upon a time, a certain Assemblyman – as Chairman of the NJGOP – came in for some very rough criticism because he would not formally endorse (or allow the Republican State Committee to endorse) the platform of the Republican National Committee, which had been debated and democratically approved in the summer of 2008.  

He was criticized for the part he played in leaving the New Jersey Republican Party without a set of written principles, but after he was removed as State Chairman by Governor Chris Christie, there was a new platform, adopted in the summer of 2012, debated and democratically approved as was the one before.  Sure enough, the NJGOP didn't adopt it either.  A new chairman, installed by Governor Christie, ignored the new set of party principles as had been the old.

And now there's been another platform, debated and voted on in the summer of 2016, by delegates from all across America.  And it too, has suffered the same fate as the others.  It has not been endorsed by the NJGOP – leaving the Republican Party in New Jersey without a set principles, a road map by which to judge its success or failure. 

Why?  Any poll will show you that most registered Republicans in New Jersey uniformly support the platform of the Republican Party.  So what makes it so difficult for the members of the New Jersey Republican State Committee to simply say, yes, we are Republicans and we support the democratically approved principles of our party as set down in the Republican Party Platform of 2016?

Well, in most cases, those state committee members are selected by Republican County chairmen in counties that have what is called a "party line".  This is s thumb on the scale at elections that enables a county machine to note who the "official" candidates of the party are. 

It is a system not unlike that practiced in less democratic nations and is thoroughly disreputable.  If New Jersey was a third world country organizing its first elections and it proposed such a thing, the United Nations would be bound to declare those elections rigged and undemocratic.  But New Jersey is part of the West and was established before the founding of the U.N.  So the political parties here are fortunate in that they do not fall under the scrutiny of international law. 

Most New Jersey Republicans are unaware that their state and local party organizations do not operate under a set of principles – or indeed any moral or ethical guide at all.  99 percent have no idea that the national Republican Party platform isn't used as a guide when recruiting potential Republican nominees for public office.

You see, most registered Republicans in New Jersey assume that there is one long chain of command leading from the White House of Donald Trump all the way down to the county committee level.  Republican voters believe that when the county party says that so and so is the "official" party candidate, they are hearing the word of the Republican National Committee.

Of course, this is not true.  That’s why there is so much confusion when state and local Republican leaders in New Jersey fail to match the rhetoric coming out of Washington, DC.  There is no direct line from the White House to the office of the local party boss.  And without a set of principles – a written standard by which to judge good from bad, success from failure – local party organizations are left with nothing but the will and wishes of a controlling party boss or cadre.

The employment and economic interests of many state and local Republican leaders tends to complicate things further.  Many county chairmen function as lobbyists or hold business connections and loyalties that are very much at variance with those principles of the Republican Party and the aspirations of ordinary Republicans.  This leads some party organizations to operate as for-profit mutual benefit societies or in some cases, sole proprietorships.  While some operate as entrepreneurs, others are more like placemen – granted patronage jobs or vendors contracts or some gift of status with which to do business. 

This is a surprise to many ordinary Republican voters in New Jersey, who still believe that their local party stands for the Republican platform.  In reality, when they vote Republican, they are not voting for who they think they are, but rather they are voting for the candidates put forward by what could be described as  independent operators, with agendas often at odds with the Republican Party platform. 

A review of the candidacies put forward by New Jersey Republicans in the last decade clearly shows that the Republican Party platform plays no role in the selection process.  What that means for average Republican voters is that instead of being a members of a party of ideas, of values, of right and wrong -- they are merely facilitators of what are often independent operators, who at times conduct themselves in ways that are more along the lines of an entrepreneur than an ideologue. 

A person’s vote is a very valuable thing.  Voters generally don’t treat it so, but it is.

Recently, Princeton University concluded a study that confirmed what many already feared – America is not a democracy.  How can we be?  Our precious votes are artificially funneled into two silos: Democratic or Republican.  If you want to look past those two, the media, academic, legal, and political powers of the Establishment won’t provide you with much.  “Pick one,” they tell us. 

We pledge our collective votes to one of two political parties with the understanding that we are going to get something in return.  That even if they try and fail, at the very least, they are going to stay somewhat true to what they say they are.  After all, we are voting for a national “brand” and we expect the candidates we vote for to reflect that.  We do not want to buy a new Ford only to learn that in New Jersey, a “Ford” is an aging Datsun.

If average voters think they are voting for a national Ford but instead get a local Datsun, then there really isn’t anything in it for the average Republican voter.  All they are doing is giving away their collective votes so that some local boss can harvest them to use to make money.  They think they are voting for people who believe in the platform of the Republican Party – of that thing they read about every four years and that largely reflects their values.  But it turns out to be just an illusion.  Someone has captured the Republican "brand" and monetized it. 

So voters turn-off, tune-out, and fail to turn-out to vote.

Voters are told how important it is to vote… by the guys who get jobs and contracts and status by monetizing other people’s collective votes. As for the average voter… maybe he or she loses a day’s wages by getting hauled up for jury duty (a delightful by-product of registering to vote).

And if you question how a new Ford is really an old Datsun… well then they call you names.  The true-believer is told he or she is some kind of freak for believing in the party platform.  What is wrong with you for thinking it was on-the-level?  Why would you ever believe that we actually believed in what we said we believed in?  Are you some kind of arsehole?

At the NJGOP Leadership Summit in Atlantic City, it was evident that very few could articulate what the Republican Party stood for.  The talk was all about the new technology available to communicate a message, rather than what that message is.  People who get paid to win campaigns in New Jersey were there to explain tactics and polling but not how to define and sell what we are burdened with… that word “Republican.”

The leadership of the NJGOP is now faced with the task of reconnecting a party with its voters.  To convince the one percent who profit from politics – and who control the levers of power – to allow a space for the 99 percent who simply want to vote for people they believe represent the values and principles of the Republican Party.

This will require patience and understanding – and will be made more difficult by the attitudes of some who use polling to determine political positions, rather than as a means to test arguments with which to convince.  The Democrats are in a position of hegemony because they invited in their true believers, gave them a seat at the table, and reaped financial benefits and grassroots activism by doing so.  They refused to follow public opinion. Choosing instead to make it

The career of Garden State Equality’s Steven Goldstein should be studied by every aspiring Republican activist.  At the start of his long march, when confronted with disheartening and frankly abysmal polling data, he did not jettison his principles, he shifted the conversation.  He used polling – not as a revelation to tell him what to believe – but as a tool for convincing others.

Remember that no more than 1 percent of those who vote are there to make money off the system.  99 percent show up to vote because they believe Republican means Republican principles and ideas and policies and the platform.  They are not in on the deal.  They get no cut.  So let's build institutions that these people can trust and that – more importantly – earn their trust.

So... which will it be?  A party based on ethics and morality – with a set of principles by which to judge its success or failure?  Or every man for himself, the pursuit of power, the worship of greed?  It is a time for choosing. 

The Republican Party in New Jersey can choose to open itself up to ideas and nail its colors to the mast and say "this is who we are and this is what we stand for!"  Ideas have brought the national Republican Party far – so why are they resisted in New Jersey?  Instead of avoiding issues, embrace them, use them, figure out ways in which to explain them and do so artfully to win the debate. 

For New Jersey Republicans, it is time to remember who you are.

Labor must stand up to Murphy to protect job creation

"Once you get to Wall Street, no matter how you got here, you give up your right to say you are a man of the people." (BBC:  The Last Days Of Lehman Brothers)

Does Phil Murphy have any empathy with New Jersey's working class at all?

During the campaign, his professional spinmeisters made much of his college job washing dishes but let's not confuse that with having a perspective that understands the needs and wants of the working class majority of the state he now leads.  Murphy spent decades in board rooms dedicated to increasing profits at the expense of working men and women.  Murphy fully embraced the globalist philosophy that places profits before all else.

Conservatives -- traditional conservatives -- are conservatives of place.  As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's great advisor Arthur E. Morgan wrote, the small community is the foundation of democratic life and the source of civilization.  The preservation of the small community -- whether a town or a neighborhood -- and the families and individuals within it, is the highest duty of public policy.  This stands in stark contrast to the Darwinian view taken by Phil Murphy.

In Murphy's world there are winners and losers -- and somebody must lose so that people like him can grow monstrously rich.  Murphy views government as an agency by which those in power can choose winners and losers.  It's called crony capitalism.  Murphy doesn't see communities, he just sees consumers -- individuals to be categorized and placed into silos -- the better to market to and to control. 

Like most modern Democrats, Phil Murphy elevates social distinctions above economic ones.  Seeking to divide the working class majority, Murphy and the Democrats focus on such things as the color of your skin, or who you sleep with, and they try to convince you that this is more important than having a job or keeping your home out of foreclosure. 

When a police officer is sent into a community to enforce a law made by the Democrat-controlled Legislature -- and someone is shot during the enforcement of that law -- people like Murphy tell you that it is the fault of the blue collar police officer, not the white collar Legislature.  They tell you it is about race, so that working class black people will distrust working class white people.  Getting people with the same economic interests to distrust each other is a trick that has been used to govern many times over.

From his years at Goldman Sachs -- and especially from his time in Hong Kong, at Goldman Sachs Asia -- Phil Murphy understands the uses of cheap, often illegal, labor to drive down costs and drive up profits.  The fact that these practices destroy small communities and cause economic migration means nothing to someone with homes in Germany and Italy, as well as New Jersey.  Phil Murphy is a citizen of the world, not a person of place. 

Once upon a time, there was balance in America.  The Republican Party was the party of business and represented the interests of business at the bargaining table that is the Legislature.  Back then, the Democrat Party represented the interests of Labor.  That day is long gone.  The Democrats do not nominate labor leaders to statewide office in New Jersey -- they nominate Wall Street millionaires and white collar professionals.  With its record of electing Democrats to the United States Senate, both Senators could easily be of blue collar vintage, but decidedly, they are not. 

Apart from a few individual legislators in both parties, the working class does not have an advocate in New Jersey.  No party is going to place the interests of class above those of the fashion statements and virtue signaling of the day.  The pussy hat brigade are largely professional women and the wives of professional men.  Check out the hands of all those "resisters" and you will find few with indications of ever having done honest labor.  Bring back the draft and the ANTIFA crowd would scoot off to Canada, for few could face the controlled menace of a drill instructor.  The "revolution" is an inverted one -- of, by, and for the Elite (and, as Phil Murphy said of Wall Street:  "We are the Elite...").

That's not to say that there isn't a populist Left.  But it gets stepped on and ignored.  Nobody speaks to its needs.  It says "jobs" and the reply is "more condoms."  And if it doesn't go along with the program of "more condoms" it gets ostracized.   

Labor must pick through the remains of both parties to find people for whom their home town or county still means something.  People who want to see their neighbors and community prosper.  People who understand that charity begins at home and that the false narrative of the "global" community is bullshit marketed to people so that they will welcome the slave labor that will take their jobs.  That narrative destroys two small communities -- that of the migrant willing to work at slave wages and of the neighbor who must agree to work for less to compete.

As the Democrat Party starts down the path of Governor Goldman Sachs 2.0, it is incumbent upon Labor to hold this phony to account.  Labor can do it.  Labor has been in worse places before and had to fight every inch to gain a place at the bargaining table.  It lost its place by not paying attention.  It is time then, to pay close attention.

The Cause of Labor is the Hope of the World.

On Getting People to Vote, Fred Snowflack has some words of wisdom.

Fred Snowflack is a wise old owl.  A career journalist of the old school, card carrier of the Society of Professional Journalists, an exceptional editor, and the type of old-fashioned liberal that every small community once benefitted from -- be it town or neighborhood.  His traditional liberalism, long out of fashion today, was tuned to Professor Karl Polanyi's warning that... "Robbed of the protective covering of cultural institutions, human beings would perish from the effects of social exposure; they would die as the victims of acute social dislocation through vice, perversion, crime, and starvation.  Nature would be reduced to its elements, neighborhoods and landscapes defiled, rivers polluted, military safety jeopardized, the power to produce food and raw materials destroyed."

We are fortunate that Mr. Snowflack still has a venue for his writing.  The balanced opinions he once offered in the pages of Gannett publications like the Daily Record are now available on InsiderNJ.com.  Yesterday's column by Snowflack, was evidence (if any was needed) that he has lost none of his abilities to get to the heart of something and touch it with a needle.  Writing about the Women's March rally in Morristown over the weekend, he offered this insight:

" Are we seeing a Democratic version of the Tea Party?

Perhaps.

That thought crossed my mind last weekend as I covered the Women’s March in Morristown and read about similar marches all over the country.

I came across one quote in particular from a Bergen County woman who attended the march in Manhattan. She said that until the election of Donald Trump as president, she and her circle of friends spent much of their TV time watching “reality shows.”  Now, they watch news programs, or if you prefer, “real reality shows.”

This is important for politics now and going forward. 

Follow politics for a while and you quickly realize that a key to winning elections is not convincing those who disagree with you to come over to your side. That’s unlikely to happen, especially in these very polarizing times.

The key is to somehow get those who agree with you to actually vote.

This is critical at a time when voter turnout is considered good if it reaches 50 percent. The more “non-voters” you can energize, the better it is for you.

His full column is here:  https://www.insidernj.com/anti-trump-political-movement-search-name-catchy-tea-party/

Wow!  Now there is a man who gets it! 

The key to winning elections is to motivate people who generally don't vote, but who would consider voting for your party. 

That's contrary to the mantra coming from some GOP types -- like defeated gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno.  They claim that only a "moderate" can win statewide.  This is, of course, simply an opinion and an opinion that ignores the fact that the only Republican who has won statewide in the last twenty years has been Pro-Life, Pro-Second Amendment, and opposed to Same-Sex Marriage.

This unreason is widespread and it gets even worse.  Indeed, in the case of the Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO), the claim is made that only a "moderate" can win in a congressional district that voted for Donald Trump

In these very partisan times, merely having an "R" next to your name -- leave out supporting Donald Trump or Chris Christie -- is enough to preclude any significant support from voters who self-identify as Pro-Choice on Abortion, Pro-Gun Control, and Pro-LGBT.  If these are your first tier issues, what floats your boat, you are not voting Republican in 2018.  Period.

Despite this, there is a full court press to mint Republican candidates who intentionally suppress key parts of the GOP base.  Like the BCRO's Pro-Abortion John McCann.  In elections that increasingly depend on identifying and turning out anyone who will even consider voting Republican, this is a disastrous trend. 

Of course, these left-of-center Republicans tend to be popular with the dregs of the GOP's Whitman-era glitterati --  cocktail-party liberals and crony capitalists who still think they run the NJGOP -- and who are increasingly uncomfortable in the knowledge that they make up just a thimbleful of actual Republican voters. 

Unfortunately for them, most voters are not looking to transfer more wealth and power to the one-percent, while infantilizing various "groups" deemed worthy of protection. 

Working class Republican voters and working class Democrat voters are really not that different.  They care about being able to have the means to life.  They want jobs, the opportunity to start a small business; to be free from the worry of foreclosure; an education system that balances costs with results; a safety net that hasn't all been spent before they need it, and a justice system that looks on them a free citizens and that keeps safe the places where they live, work, and shop. 

The needs of working people are pretty straightforward.  If it were an ice cream shop it would be plain vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.  Of course, the oligarchs of the Democrat Party can't provide that -- so they advertise a dozen flavors other than vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry -- while the "My Party Too" Whitman Republicans have placed out a sign that says, "Closed for business, we've run out of ideas."

Why this is so was the subject of a study conducted by Princeton University.  Take the time to listen to this video.  It could be an eye-opener:

Instead of trying to stand-out and apart from the "usual" Republican through the tired and ultimately unconvincing trope of "a different kind of Republican" when it comes to abortion and LGBT rights, the next generation of Republican candidates could act boldly and stand out as pledged to ending modern slavery.  If you need to know how bad it is, just read the newspapers.  Just last week, the Star-Ledger ran this...

"Authorities say a teenage girl found walking along Interstate 295 in Mercer County last week was a victim of human trafficking and had escaped from a motel, where she was forced into prostitution...

An investigation led to the arrests of Ashley Gardener, 29, and her partner, Breon Mickens, 26, both of Trenton.

Mickens and Gardener had transported the teenager to multiple hotels against her will and forced her to engage in prostitution, police said. 

Gardener allegedly forced the victim to engage in sexual activity with multiple men and allegedly collected the money paid by the clients. She also placed sexually suggestive ads on Backpage.com with photos of herself and the victim, police said.

The ads offered adult entertainment and listed a phone number police say belonged to Gardener."

Or you can listen to Ashton Kutcher's testimony before Congress...

According to the U.S. Justice Department, as many as 300,000 Americans under 18 are lured into the commercial sex trade every year.  The Internet is the vehicle for 76 percent of the transactions for sex with underage girls. 

The average victim is between 11 and 14 years old.  These victims come from all walks of life -- from every race, social, and economic background.

The problem is made worse by America's fluid borders.  According to the United Nations (UNICEF), 2 million children are trafficked in the global prostitution trade. The U.S. State Department reports that from 600,000 to 800,000 people (mainly women and children) are bought and sold across international borders every year and exploited for slave labor and prostitution.

Human Trafficking has surpassed the sale of illegal arms and is set to surpass the illegal sale of drugs.  The FBI reports that human trafficking is on the rise in all 50 states and represents a multi-billion dollar criminal industry. 

New Jersey is a "hub for human trafficking," according to the New Jersey Attorney General's Office.  In September, 14 people were arrested in a child-porn and human trafficking operation in Monmouth County.  In October , the FBI announced that it had uncovered and arrested 42 child sex traffickers in New Jersey.  The Star-Ledger reported that the 42 were arrested on charges that included sex trafficking, child exploitation and prostitution.  A total of 84 children were rescued during the operation.  At the beginning of December, 79 suspects were arrested on a host of charges that included sexual assault, using the Internet to send inappropriate images to children, and child pornography. 

And with schools requiring young students to have access to the Internet, it is no longer about the parent.  The government-run education system supplants the parents and requires the child to be connected to the Internet.  For many children, it's like requiring them to walk to and from school on a dangerous, traffic-filled highway.

There was legislation in Trenton to addresses this growing criminal enterprise aimed at our children.  It was a bill championed by Republican State Senator Steve Oroho, and it attracted substantial bi-partisan support.  Despite having enough legislators committed to passing this legislation -- either as co-sponsors or supporters -- the Democrats who run both chambers of the Legislature killed it.

They listened to objections from the porn industry, who have adopted a "no questions asked" attitude on where their profits come from.  Porn is legal and the corporations who profit from it and their allies are the enablers of human trafficking.

This state legislation has companion bills in nearly every state and in the United States Congress.  Republicans could be its champion.  Instead of taking on the self-defeating label of "Pro-Choice on Abortion Republican", Republicans could be the face of the Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Act and offer a constitutional way to prevent predators from using the Internet to sexually exploit children.  Republicans could be leaders in championing the technology to defeat child sex traffickers.

Yes, we know it is outside the Whitman-era, "My Party Too" box.  But think about it.

Al Doblin is speaking from "The Bubble"

Alfred P. Doblin is the Editorial Editor of the Record of Bergen and the surrounding counties.  His writing is strong, with few of the over-the-top emotions that are often on display over at the Star-Ledger.  He appears to try for balance, for persuasion instead of name-calling.      

But we fear he is trapped, as so many others are trapped, in a perception that is based more on geography and on class than on ideology or party identity. 

In his recent column -- "GOP at the crossroads" -- Mr. Doblin falls back on the tired values of an old religion.  Using terms like "mainstream right... extreme right... hard-line conservatives... social issues," we feel that he misses the lessons of the 2016 presidential election.

And who are the people Mr. Doblin turns to in his column to illuminate his argument?  All members of the ruling class:  former Governor Christie Whitman, global lobbyist Mike DuHaime, and Senator Kevin O'Toole Esq.

From them we get the same, tired prescriptions we get after every presidential election -- win or lose:  “(Republicans) can no longer be defined both statewide and nationally as the older white man’s party and expect to succeed (even though they just did)... (Republicans) have to do a lot more to attract females, to attract African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics. We have to be far more diverse than we have in the past.” 

The perspective of these people is one of class.  They are far, far more richer and more prosperous than the average American or the average Republican. When they speak of diversity it is the false diversity of gender, color, ethnicity, or sexual identity.  What is studiously ignored is class. 

In his book, White-Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policy Making, Duke University's Nick Carnes points out that while upwards of 65 percent of citizens are "working class" and 54 percent are employed in a blue-collar occupation, just 2 percent of the members of Congress and 3 percent of state legislators held blue-collar jobs at the time of their election.  How about some diversity?

Donald Trump's campaign saw through the false political divide of Democrat and Republican to the vast economic and social divide that is the truer measure of America today.  Authors as diverse as George Packer of the New Yorker (The  Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America) to Charles Murray (Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010) to Chris Hedges (Days of Destruction Days of Revolt) to David Brooks (BoBos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There) have written about this, with Brooks actually employing Donald Trump as an example of what the "new upper class" finds unfashionable.  In a prescient piece of writing, Ralph Nader gave an outline of what was coming when his book (Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State) was released in the summer of 2014.

On election night, MSNBC's Chris Matthews came closest to the mark, with this surprising exchange:

Of course, the ruling class will try to fit what happened back into the perception that they are most comfortable with -- and so we get the familiar postscripts about "old white men" and "diversity" of the surface variety.  It is an exercise in virtue signaling, whereby one member of the ruling class assures his "goodness" to another.

White collar America spends its time concerned about issues like the availability of condoms to Ivy Leaguers.  Such concerns are the marks of privilege. Blue collar America, working class America, worries about foreclosure, about housing, about having a job, about getting out of debt, about having enough to give their children the life that they've enjoyed.  With the greatest respect to Christie Whitman and Mike DuHaime and Kevin O'Toole, they don't have those problems.  So relieved of such pressing concerns, they can float above the mass and think sweet thoughts, reaffirming their "goodness" to one another.

The lack of shared experience places much of our ruling class, and those who aspire to it, into a kind of "bubble" -- secure and apart from the mass. Senator O'Toole's statement to Editor Doblin that what he regretted most was not voting for same-sex marriage is a symptom of that "bubble."  The Senator is a wise and judicious man and surely, if he thought about it a bit, he would have said that his greatest regret was not being able to cut property taxes down to a sane level.  For it is property taxes, a major driver of foreclosure and of homelessness, that is the greatest concern to the greatest many.

The idea that some Americans exist in "bubble" communities that vastly outstrip neighboring zip codes in status, wealth, cultural influence, and corporate/political power is not new.  Although now it seems to be going mainstream, filtering into "pop" culture.  Consider this recent skit from Saturday Night Live:

Wealthy professionals, like Al Doblin, should be aware of their class bias.  As a journalist, great care should be taken to seek out and include the opinions of genuine members of the working class for balance -- and not just members of the ruling class who happen to be labeled "diverse" for whatever reason