Sinking approval ratings show Republicans losing touch with the public by peddling simple-minded nostalgia for the past. A Pew Survey indicates 70% of “Conservative Republicans” agree that “compared with 50 years ago, life for people like me is worse.” That’s ridiculous: in 1966, we endured rising, not falling crime, major riots devastated our cities, hundreds died each week in Vietnam, and we faced top tax rates of 70%.
Today, medical care and life expectancy have vastly improved, college enrollment has increased 400%, average homes are 150% bigger, and the “Evil Empire” of the Soviet Union no longer threatens global annihilation.
Young people and black people know it’s absurd to view all change as negative–nearly 80% of them say life’s gotten better, not worse over 50 years. “Make America Great Again” is a slogan that promotes pessimism about the present and air-brushes the past, thereby alienating young and diverse voters the GOP needs.