Tuesday, November 29, 2016
In this makeover, the face of the Democratic Party will become younger, as the party seeks relevance to millennials, many of whom no longer feel any sympathy with the post-war international liberal consensus. A doubling-down on the historic wager that the coalition of the fringes will hold, and that the Trump phenomenon is an anomaly would be a serious miscalculation. While the Trump victory certainly represents a paroxysm of antipathy to liberal elitism, it also expresses an eruption of white identity politics that have found cover in the liberalization of what passes for political discourse in the U.S., made possible by Trump's highly unconventional campaign rhetoric. His outré communication tactics, aided by a social media end run around mainstream outlets, created a crack in the glacial ice of illiberal progressive narrative dominance, through which escaped tacit white identity politics under cover of civic nationalism. This presents a decisive and historic shift in the political landscape, which has eluded no one, not even tone deaf and overconfident progressive elites, who, I'm happy to report, see their formerly unassailable triumphalism now in shambles.
The more perspicacious Democratic Party strategists sense this tectonic movement, which is why what I'll call the "legacy coalition" candidate for DNC Chair, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), has limited support among party power brokers. Ellison's Muslim religious commitments and his public ties to radical Muslim and Black Supremacist Louis Farrakhan pose a challenge for a party that was abandoned by the white working class during the most recent election. This is due in part to the party having neglected their interests for decades, and demanded acquiescence in their own demographic demise. It seems silly now that Democrats anticipated that the white working class would "go gentle into that good night." That is an arrogance which begs for retribution from the political gods. It turns out that an identity politics that alienates a key constituency is a losing strategy. Conversely, Democrats are discovering that whites can play the identity game as well, and make it look like good old fashioned American "fair play."
Those Democrats who treat the Trump effect as a temporary phenomenon would do well to note that arch nemesis Breitbart now has a man in the West Wing and Trump is auditioning goldbugs for Treasury. These occurrences aren't accidental, and the repercussions from the Big Shift Right are only beginning to be felt. When your own house organ is jumping off your bandwagon, you have some reevaluation ahead.