Much is made that these are extraordinary times and politics these days. I would agree with an exception. The thing is if we are just comparing it to what was ordinary in the last 20 years or so, then, yes, they are. Pretty much that is a good thing.
It is about time that we finally focused on both the ugliness and the importance of politics. I don’t need to tell anyone how divisive it all is. But maybe it’s time America has told them, the ruling class elites.
Things have evolved into what I call movement politics. That is separate from the classism and identity politics that have been standard fare of Democrats for decades. I doubt that these identity merchants, tacticians and strategists ever thought we would move past these time-tested mechanisms. Though we may be seeing just that.
I know that the identity memes have been the flavor of the day, even now. Though the people are rising up with ideas of their own, and they aren’t all about identity anymore. More than that they are concerned about the identity of the country. They are concerned about the condition of the US and losing our identity with freedom, prosperity and our posterity. Sure there are still identity merchants as there are grievance merchants.But they are being surrounded and outnumbered by others.
The only math the old-school establishment politicians know is the numbers of identities and the way they can pander to them. Estabos other math is the calculation of special interest dollars in their campaign coffers. That is the equivalent of their common core math. And not much else matters.
However, something interesting happened with the rise of Bernie Sanders on the Left. It undermined Hillary’s base and consolidated the Left wing of America much the way Move On and George Soros did since the Clintons. Its ranks swelled and cut across cultural and identity lines, much to the aghast fears of the political elites and the identity merchants.
Probably one of the pivotal moments was when Sanders’ rally was nearly shutdown by the BLM movement. It revealed the clash therein. But the strange thing is that the Bern came back around to encompass and co-opt the Black Lives Matter crowd.
Then Hillary has proved the other thing about politics. On the Left, they gravitate and rally to the furthermost Left in the spotlight. Elizabeth Warren demonstrated it and Obama proved it. Bernie extorted that theory. Of course on the Right it has been almost the opposite. They sanitize the politics until it becomes invalid. Mediocrity is now King. This is just as a matter of comparison. So what you have is more marginalization happening on the Right and less to none on the Left.(even on the fringes) On the Left, they won’t cast off fringes; they embrace them and devour them. Hillary must swim against the current and, wherever she can, graft on the hard left’s dogma and carry their banner.
On the Right
Enter Trump on the Republican side. Sure there are all those quibbles over what he is, or what he is not. But what he has done on the right is to mobilize and rally people from across demographics — usual stereotypical onse. Some thought Trump supporters were just a marginal group of identities on the right. Yet identity pigeonholes have been disproved throughout primaries. He increased turnouts and interest in the whole process.
While Cruz, if anything, has stuck himself into a margin. He played heavy on the Evangelicals. The theory being if he could just activate them, he could overcome all comers with a lock on that bloc. A funny thing happened in South Carolina, crossing the lines.
[Politico]“It was amazing how similar Texans and South Carolinians are. I’d never thought of that until seeing the bus. They’re Southerners, they’re evangelicals, they’re military veterans, they’re gun owners. There’s just a feeling that is similar. They feel like Texans.” — Cruz said of S Carolina.
Indeed, Evangelicals also turned out for Trump. Even a few Evangelical leaders endorsed Trump. That was pooh-poohed and they were wackos that don’t know what they are doing. Yet even while everyone is demonized for supporting or endorsing Trump, it didn’t kill off his support. They had said he could not break 30%, then they said he couldn’t get 40%. And it is still actually early as to final tallies but if the primaries are any indication, he’s bringing in higher numbers.
Politicians and the establishment have long criticized the people for being disconnected from events, or being behind the times, or failing to understand political reality. Except now it is a different story. The establishment is at a loss to
understand comprehend the new political reality. At first they dismiss it, then they ridicule it, then they go tot war with it. Remember that just five years ago we saw almost the exact opposite. Town hall meetings were the target of voters looking to hold politicians accountable for their failures. All that was done without much concrete leadership, certainly not a single leader in charge. That may have been the first indications of an actual movement afoot.
Summarizing Trumpism and the movement politics on the Right
Now all the talk is that Trump is bringing in old political hands and Washington insiders, hence hurting his freestyle, outsider brand. Well, you cannot change the DNA of a movement like that. It must co-opt the establishment. And Donald understands it, correctly, as a movement not a political campaign. He may be running a campaign but his base is a movement.The question is will it be embraced as the base in the RNC as well?
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