Tried to order my thoughts on where things stand politically right now. My basic takeaway: the entire ideological basis of post Reagan conservatism has crumbled. It’s left the GOP with no real coherent program other than retaining power at all costs. https://t.co/INIHV8X87t— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 8, 2021
Just told him about the Puppy Bowl pic.twitter.com/vGEOisUFdY— Jared Holt (@jaredlholt) February 7, 2021
I enjoyed this article.
It helped me focus my own thoughts on this subject.
“The republican party is radicalizing against democracy. This is the central political fact of our moment. Instead of organizing its coalition around shared policy goals, the GOP has chosen to emphasize hatred and fear of its political opponents, who—they warn—will destroy their supporters and the country. Those Manichaean stakes are used to justify every effort to retain power, and make keeping power the GOP’s highest purpose. We are living with a deadly example of just how far those efforts can go, and things are likely to get worse. …”
I don’t think so.
The Republican Party isn’t radicalizing against “democracy.” It is radicalizing against a very specific and peculiar group of people – White upper middle class, college-educated professionals who live in the suburbs who are “woke” on race and who hold modernist cultural values. It is a class and cultural divide between the White majority and the White minority or between normal people and those people. Virtually everyone else in the country has about the same amount of bias toward their own group.
“But that edge is neither large nor guaranteed. The average margin of those Democratic wins is narrow, about 2.5 percent, and the growing gap between the Electoral College tipping-point state and the popular vote means the Democratic coalition is becoming increasingly inefficient. …”
The Democratic Party is shrinking into a coastal party based in large metro areas and wealthy suburbs. The wokeness has gotten so toxic and so out of control now that it is even alienating Hispanics who hated shit like “Defund the Police” and “Abolish ICE” and especially Black Lives Matter.
“Somewhat counterintuitively, the electorate has grown less racially polarized in recent elections; from 2016 to 2020, exit polls and precinct-level voting data suggest that Trump improved his performance among Black and Latino voters while losing ground with white voters. But that was at the margins. …”
Donald Trump lost the 2020 election because he made a fool out of himself over COVID and because his own base among White Independents who had catapulted him into the White House in 2016 was angry at him for governing too much like a conventional Republican president.
“Think of everything that happened last year: A president was impeached for only the third time in American history, a contentious Democratic primary took place, and then a once-in-a-century calamity led to tens of millions of people losing their jobs and 350,000 people dying and daily life being suspended for about two months, followed by months of painful adjustments. And the result—politically—was that practically no minds were changed. …”
The middle class people who I described above are responsible for the polarization. They are so deeply disliked and resented for cultural reasons, not for any economic policy difference, that even a Spanish Flu level epidemic only moved Trump voters at the margins. Tolerance levels vary. There is only so much shit that most people can take from that crowd. Everyone has their limit.
“Nearly the entirety of mainstream American culture is produced by a cohort—urban, well-educated, increasingly diverse—that trends strongly liberal. The resentments of the right are hardly baseless; the commanding heights of American culture are largely occupied by their ideological foes. …”
There is a growing awareness that these are the people who run the show in the Democratic Party and that it is overwhelmingly a bunch of finger wagging White liberal professionals. Trump could get away with virtually anything as long as he kept “owning the libs.” Trump voters are polarized against “Solid Liberals.” It is important to understand that those are the libs he was owning.
The Democrats are two different parties. It is the top of the party that Trump voters are reacting against. They have a knack for repulsing, alienating and driving out voters in their own party. Look at what happened to David Shor or most recently with Donald McNeil and Andy Mills. It has been going on for decades and has realigned entire regions of the country. Trump voters have warmer feelings about non-Whites and agree with working class Democrats on lots of issues.
“The 2017 VOTER Survey data reveal stark demographic differences behind these issue preferences. DILEs (13 percent of the electorate) are heavily Democratic (67 percent) and liberal (77 percent), and are less than 1 percent Republican or conservative. They are also the youngest group, with 51 percent under 45 years old. The DILE cluster has the second-highest percentage of white voters (75 percent), behind only the CY cluster (79 percent). Their educational attainment is the highest of all the groups, as 86 percent have some college/an associate’s degree or more, with 48 percent having graduated college, and 22 percent having done post-graduate work. Finally, they have the highest income — with 26 percent making $100,000 or more, and only 10 percent making $30,000 or less.
In contrast, the DLWC cluster (27 percent of the electorate) is the group with the largest non-white population; 39 percent of voters in this cluster identify as non-white. The majority of this group identifies as Democratic (52 percent), and a high proportion identifies as independent (32 percent). Ideologically, moderates make up the largest share (50 percent) of this group, though liberals outnumber conservatives 34 percent to 17 percent. This is the second-oldest group, with 53 percent age 55 or older, and only 4 percent under age 30. Significantly more people within this group are female (66 percent). In terms of education, only 24 percent have a college degree or more, while 45 percent have a high school diploma or less. DLWCs also have the lowest average income; over half of this group (52 percent) makes $50,000 or less. …”
“What if those kinds of policy fights offer only limited returns? What if we are conflating two different issues? What if the overwhelming number of Trump supporters simply won’t vote to give control to the Democratic Party, even if the party is pushing agenda items they like? What if the driving imperative for the large majority of voters—but particularly for those on the aggrieved right—is that they want their people in control?
The contemporary gop is on a strange trajectory. Republicans are growing more radical, extreme, and dangerous on core questions of democracy, the rule of law, and corruption, while simultaneously moderating on policy in some crucial ways.”
Where did MAGA come from anyway?
As recently as Obama’s second term, most MAGA voters like Ashli Babbitt who was the woman who was killed in the Capitol Siege were Independents or leaned Democrat. There isn’t a huge ideological divide between MAGA voters and other Democratic Leaning Working Class (DLWC) voters.
Donald Trump won 25% of the DLWC vote in the 2016 election which is why he was able to flip the Rust Belt. Those people were driven out of the Democratic Party and the Center of the electorate because of political correctness, open borders, free trade and various other resentments against the neoliberal consensus that Trump capitalized on to move them into the GOP. Generally speaking, upper middle class, college-educated professionals and suburban Republicans who have cosmopolitan and modernist values are moving to the Democrats while working class Democrats and Independents who resent political correctness, modernism and cosmopolitanism are are migrating over to the Republicans.