There is a dramatic political realignment happening and it is not clear that the media or many Democrats or establishment Republicans see it.
This really has nothing to do with the impeachment fiasco undertaken by Democrat leadership or the immoral and illegal Russia collusion hoax. This is far bigger than that, bigger than Trump the man. Both parties are changing rapidly and it reflects the changes in America coming to a head.
The Democratic Party is clearly miles further left than it was during the Clinton Administration when Bill Clinton and Al Gore actively tried to pull it back toward the center, even then, almost 30 years ago. But too much of the party base now is willing to drag it to the radical left, as we witness with former Communist and current Socialist Bernie Sanders surging into the lead for the nomination after finishing a close second four years ago. This is the man who wants to nationalize healthcare and now nationalize the nation’s electric companies. Full-on Socialist.
But for this to happen, the Democratic Party is undergoing deep changes. It has become much more of a high-education, wealthy, and very bottom economic rung party, moving away from the middle class, working blue collar voters that used to dominate the party. It is being driven by an entitlement mentality as evidenced by the endless freebies that Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and others at the economic top promise to those nearer the economic bottom. It is also a more collectivist party, which also fits with Bernie.
This is a continuing leftward lurch from the Obama community organizer model which was also collectivist, but not as overtly.
Finally, the Democratic Party is home to the political correctness that says a biological man is an actual woman if he feels like his is, despite science. It is the PC that allows anything to be said of “whites,” but inserting blacks or Hispanics or any other group would be grounds for dismissal, while the modern feminist critique that everything wrong with the world is the fault of men, and specifically white men, reigns unchallenged. This prima facia nonsensical thinking is really only acceptable to those who either have spent many years in universities or are located in the cordoned bastions of Hollywood and the media establishment. And it’s true, those are the bases of the Democratic Party, which is part of the realignment going on.
This paints a picture of a very different Democratic Party. Still a leftist party, but not actually populist as much as elitist in thinking, at least in its appeal to core constituencies. For example, free college and elimination of college debt is obviously aimed at college students, who often think in the elitist terms, but are frequently at the low end of the economic ladder during the college age and right after.
On the Republican side, the realignment is also striking, and it flows in part from what is happening in the Democratic Party and in part from the Republican Party ignoring important issues for too long, i.e. nearly open immigration and unfair trade agreements. The big picture with Donald Trump is not that he is vulgar or mean to people or has a history of cheating on his wives. It’s not that he tweets things or is careless with accuracy, or even that he sometimes flat out lies. (Stormy Daniels is the most obvious example of much of this.)
What’s missed here is that it actually is not about Trump. It’s about what he stands for. He is an avatar for the changes that traditional Americans have been agitating for over the past 20 years, changes that required a pugilist to go against the permanent state/media monolith. People love him not because of who he is but what he does. He fights for average Americans and refuses to cave in to the Washington mire.
It’s about the coalition that Trump — and his message and his fighting style — is creating within the Republican Party. That message is more isolationist and leery of “free” trade than the Reagan coalition of conservatives. Nor does it seem in the least concerned with the ballooning deficit. But it does pay attention to all those Americans who felt like they had no voice in the country. With Trump, they have a voice.
And, contrary to normative thinking, the Republican Party is becoming more black and brown. This last part is the really difficult one for the isolated, left-of-center dominated commentariat to grasp. But it seems to be real. There have been numerous mainstream polls now showing that Trump’s approval rating among blacks is north of 30 percent.
That is astonishing. Even if only a portion of those translate into votes, that upends the electoral math. But more importantly, it upends cultural thinking in this new realignment and actually could lay the groundwork for better race relations, something the Democratic Party must fight viciously against in hopes of maintaining their grip on the black vote in particular.
Lastly, Trump’s rallies continue to mystify the talking heads. They are not just dwarfing anything in modern history, but the devotion is truly awesome and represents the feelings of those who see him as their voice. But the devotion is not to Trump only, but also to what he is representing. For the New Jersey rally, people were lining up 29 hours ahead of the doors opening. Thousands camped out overnight in freezing temperatures for the rally the following night. Not even Barack Obama at his peak saw that.
That’s not just Trump appeal. They are feeling part of something bigger than themselves — people who for a long time have felt ignored, marginalized and even spit upon by the culture leaders. They want to see and support the man who is fighting for them. That is who they see and love.
The breakdown at his rallies shows the realignment sharply. The recent New Jersey data is reflective of this striking shift: 92,841 individual sign-ups requesting 158,632 tickets. That’s just an enormous depth of support in a deep blue state. Of the 73,482 voters identified, 10.4% did not vote in 2016. And here’s the bell-ringer: 26.3% were registered Democrats. More than a quarter of those requesting tickets were Democrats.
This is the picture of a political realignment happening in real time.
Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.