Monday, April 18, 2016

Trumpism and Clintonism Are the Future


No matter who wins the New York primaries on Tuesday or which candidates end up as the presidential nominees of the two major parties, one thing is already clear: Trumpism represents the future of the Republicans and Clintonism the future of the Democrats.

Those who see the nationalist populism of Mr. Trump as an aberration in a party that will soon return to free-market, limited government orthodoxy are mistaken. So are those who believe that the appeal of Senator Bernie Sanders to the young represents a repudiation of the center-left synthesis shared by Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In one form or another, Trumpism and Clintonism will define conservatism and progressivism in America.

This may turn out to be the most turbulent election year since 1968, but the source of the turbulence is different. The presidential election of 1968 was a milestone in partisan realignment — the breakup of the mid-20th-century Democrats and Republicans and the reshuffling of voter blocs among the two parties. In 2016, this half-century process of partisan realignment is all but complete. What we are seeing instead of partisan realignment is policy realignment — the adjustment of what each party stands for to its existing voter base.

We are accustomed to thinking of the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 as the beginning of a new era. But from the vantage point of 2016, both Reagan and Bill Clinton look more like transitional figures. During this period, the migration from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party of socially conservative, economically populist Democrats, like the supporters of the segregationist Democrat George Wallace’s independent presidential campaign in 1968, was not yet complete. Neither was the flow of moderate Rockefeller Republicans in the opposite direction.

(More here.)


Blogger Tom Koch said...

God save us.

8:21 PM  

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