Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens told CNNs' Fareed Zakaria that Donald Trump's campaign is "increasingly a vision of the privileges of a white ethnic bloc." Stephens warned Trump has turned the Republican party into the "white party" and is doubtful the it can reclaim the principle of opportunity and the "right to rise" following a Trump loss.
"It's basically increasingly a vision of the privileges of a white ethnic bloc who he is speaking to," Stephens said of the Trump campaign. "If the Republican party essentially becomes the white party, it is going to be the death of it."
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Stephens fought back against the argument that anti-Trump Republicans are elitists living in a bubble.
Stephens said he wished he was born into a rich family entrenched in New York real estate and the privileges that comes along with that. Instead, he said, he "started at the bottom" and any achievements he has made were based on merit.
"This is the standard line of the Trump side of the party, that us who oppose him are just a bunch of elites who live in the Acela corridor in this bubble of unimaginable wealth," Stephens said to his co-panelist, Trump surrogate Emily Miller. "I wish I had been born into an extremely wealthy New York real estate family and been given multimillion dollar loans to get my start in life. I started at the bottom like so many of us did and to the extent that I achieved anything I think it's on merit."
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Stephens, however, was born in New York to a chemical company executive and attended boarding school at the Middlesex School in Massachusetts. He later attended the London School of Economics.
"A lot of Americans feel the same way," Stephens presumed. "It's not a convincing argument."
"And it's particularly not convincing, when Trump is telling so many people who are at the bottom, who are first generation Americans who are trying to rise, that he has a different vision," Stephens said Sunday. "It's not a vision of opportunity of mobility. It's basically increasingly a vision of the privileges of a white ethnic bloc who he is speaking to."
"If the Republican party essentially becomes the white party, it is going to be the death of it, not only for demographic reasons but for reasons of principle," Stephens fraught. "The party of Lincoln is a party of opportunity for everyone. It's a party about the right to rise and Mr. Trump unfortunately doesn't represent that view. Can the Republican party recapture that after his loss I think is the great question."