The Remaking of the Parties
After being overwhelmed by radicals and socialists, the old Democrats have faded away.
Moderates who once embraced Bill Clinton’s opportunistic “third way” are now either irrelevant or nonexistent.
Remember when Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders was considered too wacky and socialist to be taken seriously? The new Democratic Party kingpins are the “performance-art ‘squad,’ the radicals of the Congressional Black Caucus,” along with Massachusetts’s Sen Elizabeth Warren and her hard progressive wing.
Antifa and Black Lives Matter often serve as the new party’s shock troops on the street, pushing the Party to embrace:
- no-bail laws
- defunding the police
- the destruction of the fossil fuel industry
Where are the Blue Dog Democrats? Gone. Rather than be accused of being racists, nativists, or climate denialists, they remain silent or flee in disgust, as Tulsi Gabbard did.
Win Rudely or Go Home?
As for Republicans, there is Donald Trump, who “recalibrated the Republican Party” and helped turn it into a nationalist-populist movement that would rather “win rudely than lose politely.”
Republicans now unite in demanding only legal immigration, adds VDH, and promoting domestic investment rather than globalist outsourcing and offshoring.
In response, many of the old Bush-Romney country-club wing left in disgust. Others licked their wounds as fanatical NeverTrump something or others.
Class, race, and wealth have radically changed both parties.
A once lunch-bucket carrying, union member Democratic Party has become the enclave of three key constituencies:
- The subsidized and often inner-city poor.
- The meat of the party? The upscale, bicoastal professional and suburban credentialed classes.
- The real rulers of the party? The hyper-rich of Big Tech, Wall Street, Hollywood, the corporate boardroom, the administrative state, the media, and the legal world.
Almost all these institutions have lost public confidence and poll miserably, writes VDH.
Their cocooned leaders are never subject to the ramifications of their own often unworkable policies.
Republicans, in contrast, have focused mainly on “material issues of the middle classes:”
- the price of fuel and energy
- a secure border
- parental control of schools
- realist foreign policy
Still, doctrines of the Republican Party – reforming social security, reducing capital gains taxes, and pruning back regulations – are not as iconic as they were during Ronald Reagan’s years.
As the champions of the well-off, Democrats remain redistributionist and seek to tax the middle class to fund ever more and growing government programs.
The professional leftist elites who run the Democratic Party are not concerned much about “the price of diesel fuel, or whether border communities are swarmed by illegal immigration. They are indifferent to whether it is unsafe to take a late-night subway ride. And they are not too worried about being mugged or whether they can splurge for a weekend steak.”
Democratic movers and shakers are obsessed with climate change and sermonize about ending fossil fuels.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion—all mandated equality-of-result agendas—are their cultural religion, along with transgender advocacy, and abortion on demand in all 50 states.
Why are record numbers of minorities now deserting Democrats?
As Republicans diminished the role of race, the Democrats grew ever more obsessed about it—and ignored class.
The Oprahs, Meghan Markles, and MSNBC anchors of the world fixate over skin color in direct proportion to their own affluence, status, and privilege—as their hypocrisy turns off the middle classes of all races.
As Mr. Hanson points out, the party of old left-wing progressives has become one of rich regressives.
And once country-club Republicans are becoming a party of middle-class populists. And the election will reflect both those changes.
Learn more about our #1 American, Victor Davis Hanson, here.
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