Hillary Clinton seemed to have it all—a pliant media, tech oligarchs, Wall Street, property moguls, the academics, and the all-around “smart people,” writes Joe Kotkin in City Journal. So how did Donald Trump trump Hillary?
What Hillary Clinton didn’t have was flyover country, the economic “leftovers,” the small towns, the unhipstered suburbs, and other unfashionable places. As Thomas Frank has noted, Democrats have gone “from being the party of Decatur to the party of Martha’s Vineyard.” No surprise, then, that working- and middle-class voters went for Donald Trump and helped him break through in states—Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa—that have usually gone blue in recent presidential elections.
Among other things, the media missed the fact that the middle of the country and the South continue to gain population. The “blue” model, for the most part, expels people, while, in contrast, the “red” one appeals, particularly to middle- and working-class families. Texas and Florida are now our second and third most-populous states. Once the pacesetter, New York is a mere shadow of itself as a determiner of elections, and California, no longer growing quicker than the rest of the country, has perched itself on the Left fringe, with obvious bad ramifications—high housing and energy bills, depressed blue-collar sectors—for middle-aged, middle-class families.
In contrast, Trump’s America presents an alternative model, which honors small enterprise, allows housing to meet demand, and does not see the United States as part of a global system to be managed.