The Republican Party is in something of a demographic crisis as it exits the Donald Trump presidency, and a Florida Senator thinks that the answer is a renewed fight against “wokeness.”
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, during a symposium hosted Wednesday by the American Compass, outlined his theories on expanding the GOP coalition in the direction of “multiethnic working-class conservatism.”
Part of that battle, Rubio contended, should be against political correctness, mobilizing blue-collar types against the hypocrisies of the liberal upper middle class.
“People are tired of being policed,” Rubio commented.
The Senator cited a “growing sense in this country” among conservatives, but also on the left and center, “that it’s gone too far on this wokeness, political correctness, be careful what you say stuff.”
It’s “gotten to the point now where you can’t even hold a comedy show on a college campus,” Rubio lamented.
And it’s difficult, he added, for a conservative to give a commencement speech, as “five or 10 woke students [could] make a spectacle.”
The Senator believes that economic divides also make the case against wokeness for the working class, describing 2020 as a “year of people getting paid to work on Zoom lecturing the ones who don’t about the need to shut down.”
The Senator has made the case with some frequency since the 2020 election that a “multiethnic, multiracial, working-class coalition” would be the Republican future.
Rubio, in making these arguments, is walking a similar path as Sen. Rick Scott.
“President Trump’s decisive election victory in my home state of Florida offers an important lesson for Republicans nationwide: If we show voters that Republicans are the party of working-class Americans, a party that reaches out to people of all races and creeds, and a party that fights for equal opportunity for all we will win in future elections,” Scott wrote in an op-ed for FoxNews.com last weekend.
“Republicans have built a multiethnic, working-class coalition of Florida voters,” Scott added. “President Trump had incredible success in Florida because his message resonated with this diverse coalition of voters who don’t neatly fit into the pundits’ and pollsters’ conception of the political world.”
With Scott heading the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the next two years, it will be worth watching to see how this strategy translates beyond Florida in the midterms. But it will take some plot twists to make it drive the top of the ticket agenda in four years.
Both Rubio and Scott have disclaimed on the record interest in the presidency in 2024, with Rubio saying that President Trump would get the nomination if he wanted it and Scott saying that he was not focused on a bid for the White House.