Originally posted August 30, 2018.
Robert W. Merry explains at The American Conservative that Donald Trump’s political emergence interrupted “the coalition of the ascendant,” which had intended to “overwhelm the declining white majority and usher in a new era of globalism, open borders, identity politics, free trade, cultural individualism, foreign policy interventionism, and gun control.” Merry writes (abridged):
There’s an underlying reality lurking in the remarkable poll numbers released Monday by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News. They showed that Donald Trump’s approval rating declined by only two percentage points. That despite the fact that the president suffered what was by any measure a devastating week.
As the Journal added, “The results are a testament to the durable loyalty of Mr. Trump’s core supporters, who have throughout his presidency remained largely unmoved by the controversies that have swirled around him.
Because this isn’t about the fate of Trump so much as the future of America.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump opened up a series of fresh fault lines in American politics by advocating new directions for the country that no other politician would discuss. They included a clamp-down on illegal immigration and a serious reduction in overall immigration after a decades-long influx of unprecedented proportions; an effort to address the hollowing out of America’s industrial capacity through trade policies; an end to our nation-building zeal and the wars of choice spawned by it; and a promise to curtail the power of elites who gave us unfettered immigration, an industrial decline, endless wars, years of lukewarm economic growth, and an era of globalism that slighted old-fashioned American nationalism.
Before Trump’s 2016 emergence onto the political scene, many liberals believed the American future belonged to what political analyst Ron Brownstein called the “coalition of the ascendant”—including racial minorities, immigrants, Millennials, and highly educated whites residing primarily along the nation’s two coasts. They were convinced this ascendant force would eventually overwhelm the declining white majority and usher in a new era of globalism, open borders, identity politics, free trade, cultural individualism, foreign policy interventionism, and gun control.
Trump interrupted the coalition of the ascendant on its way to U.S. political hegemony. In the process, he touched off an epic struggle over the definition of America.
Read more here.