Smart people are unfazed by the events of yesterday. After all, as I ...
mark wauck January 7, 2021 at 8:11 AM
74M voted for Trump, and I doubt they'll repent of their vote. Trump has done the great service to the nation of pulling the masks down off establishment figures. I suspect that those who are now revealing themselves as fair weather conservatives will experience a very large drop in their credibility and influence, analogous to what has happened to Fox on a larger scale and what has also happened to the WSJ over the Trump years.
and commenter Cassander ...
Cassander January 7, 2021 at 8:47 AM
If you count unregistered children and friends and neighbors of Trump voters, maybe he's got 100 million supporters. Maybe more. That's a big number, which would appear unlikely to just apologize for having a different point of view and slink away so that Chuckie Schumer can "Change America".
noted this morning, there is still a future. Mitch McConnell's GOP--based, it seems, on attempting to foist unelectable females of a certain type (McSally, Loeffler, Ayotte ... no Blackburns need apply to Mitch) on an unwilling electorate --is not the model for the future that awaits us, or any successful political party, down the road.
The future happens a lot faster than most people can imagine, so it's best to be ready for it. John Daniel Davidson writes about that this morning:
Trump leaves his party in better shape than his previous two predecessors left theirs, but the GOP is still at war with itself.
What I want to focus on, however, is the lead up to, and then the actual content of, three tweets that Davidson cites. Because a picture is worth a thousand words.
First the lead up:
Republican voters, along with millions of Independents and moderate Democrats, were fed up with an entrenched establishment beholden to a donor class whose interests conflicted with those of ordinary people. The chasm between these two groups was (and still is) especially obvious on issues like immigration, free trade, and foreign policy. For too long, Republican leaders paid lip service to what voters want—a secure border, protections for American workers, an end to foreign wars—while doing what the donors wanted.
Trump was in many ways the perfect candidate to channel these frustrations, which he did with aplomb and sincerity, given his long opposition to U.S. elite consensus on these issues. His 2016 victory underscored just how dead the old GOP consensus was—the Cold War “fusionism” that kept otherwise disparate elements of the Republican coalition together. Once in office, resistance to his agenda from within the GOP establishment made these divisions even more visible.
What became clear, at least outside the corporate media echo-chamber, was that the old Republican Party was already dead—had been dead since before Trump came along. Trump’s election offered the party new life and a new direction.
Instead of being beholden to a wealthy donor class and the exhausted ideas and slogans of the Reagan era, Republicans could embrace populism and become a right-of-center, multiracial, working-class party. Studies of the 2016 electorate indicated GOP voters were more economically liberal and socially conservative than anyone had thought, while Democrats were moving steadily to the left on both counts.
OK, Davidson is fundamentally talking about 2016. By the standard narrative, Hillary was set to walk right into the White House and continue Obama's "fundamental transformation" of America--despite what should have been obvious to the smart people that Americans were not up for fundamental transformation. That fact was obvious to one very smart guy--Donald J. Trump. He won, with a vast new coalition.
In doing so and offering the GOPe a path to renewed power Trump exposed the dirty secret of the GOPe. That secret gave the lie to Henry Kissinger's famous quip--if quip it was--that 'power is the ultimate aphrodisiac'. As it turned out, for the dull fellows running the GOPe, money--as supplied by the donor class--remains the ultimate aphrodisiac. Not so for the tens of millions in Trump's coalition. Those people have always been and always will be turned on by something different: a normal human life, supported by honorable work. Family, children, grandchildren.
The GOPe turned their back on those normals, but they're still out there. In fact, they turned out for Trump in 2020 in unprecedented numbers--in person. Not so much that the-ballots-in-the-mail stuff. They felt that strongly that they wanted to get out there and cast their vote personally, in company with their fellow citizens. These are the people who have been crushed by the Great Lockdown, the various hoaxes, and now by the Great Steal. They're still out there waiting for a standard bearer.
Where can they be found, on an ideological scale? That's where these three brilliant tweets by Nick Solheim come into play:
This is the new Republican Party whenever our party apparatus would like to return to winning elections. pic.twitter.com/z9levNBOCb— Nick Solheim (@NickSSolheim) January 6, 2021
This is only the beginning!https://t.co/giaXr3FY4q— Nick Solheim (@NickSSolheim) January 6, 2021
Now, recall what Davidson criticized in the GOPe's agenda: "the exhausted ideas and slogans of the Reagan era." What's he talking about? You'll find the home for those ideas on the second graph, in the bottom right corner--where the donor class lives: Economically "conservative" but "socially" liberal. Translation: Libertarians.
All those millions of people who loved Ronnie didn't understand what they had brought upon themselves. He seemed so decent, they didn't understand the poison hidden in his simple minded libertarian ideology, framed in terms of dignity. But that's how we got to this point. It was that libertarianism that crushed the middle and working classes by sending their jobs overseas. It was also coopted to gin up the forever wars of the Bush and Obama eras, which were supposed to export that same libertarian ideology in the name of a borderless, transnational Globalism.
Here's what Solheim is calling for:
Family, Nation, Work, Faith, Community, Sovereignty, and Substantive Growth must be the orienting values of an American right prepared to govern and lead this great nation in the 21st Century. These are the building blocks of any healthy civilization.
We don’t endeavor to liberalism-lite, a worldview that seeks to champion the Democratic platform of 2010, nor do we believe there is any way to restore the post-war era of the 1950s. We seek an America where families can thrive and grow, where faith and tradition are supported, where workers are treated fairly, where technological progress begins anew, and where our distinctly American identity is nourished and preserved.
As it has in generations past, young patriots will meet the challenges of this American moment and usher in the next chapter of the conservative political project.
That, I submit, is the heart of the Trump coalition, for anyone willing to reach out to it. You can find it in the upper middle portion of the graph.