by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democrats, corporate media, and Hollywood are all at great pains to convince voters that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are just boring old moderates, nothing to be afraid of, and whatever you hear to the contrary from conservatives or the Donald Trump campaign is just fearmongering and distortions and lies.
One recent iteration of this narrative line is that Biden and Harris are “Rockefeller Republicans.”
During an episode of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” last week, Colbert and his guests, Mark McKinnon and Alex Wagner, co-hosts of Showtime’s “The Circus,” went on and on about how, contrary to what Republicans would have you believe, Biden and Harris are moderates, centrists, pragmatists.
“When I was a kid, we would have called them Rockefeller Republicans,” said Colbert, to the vigorous agreement of McKinnon and Wagner.
Colbert, McKinnon, and Wagner have no clue what Rockefeller Republicans believed. If they did, they’d know that if anyone’s a Rockefeller Republican in this race, it’s not Biden or Harris. It’s Trump.
Not that the label fits perfectly, but it does a better job of describing Trump’s views on policy than Biden’s or Harris’s. Named after Nelson Rockefeller, the Republican governor of New York and later vice president under Gerald Ford, Rockefeller Republicans were the so-called “Eastern Establishment” of the GOP, known for being comfortable with big business, okay with government spending on the social safety net and infrastructure, and cozy with unions.
Trump—unlike, say, Paul Ryan Republicans— fits this mold better than any Republican president since Richard Nixon. He has no problem with a big social safety net or government spending on infrastructure.
Like Rockefeller Republicans of the 1950s and ‘60s who opposed the spread of Soviet communism, Trump has done more than any president, Republican or Democrat, to oppose communist China.