2015 December 23 Wednesday
Donald Trump Second Least Hawkish GOP POTUS Candidate

The man most popular among the supporters of The Great Republican Revolt, Donald Trump, is sane on foreign policy compared to mainstream (i.e. supported by elites) Republican presidential candidates. Only Rand Paul is less hawkish. Surely Hillary Clinton is more hawkish than Trump as well. Look at her policies toward overthrowing the Libyan government - which let open the gates of hell into that country and now ISIS controls a substantial chunk of Libya. Yet the press tries to portray Trump as extreme and rash.

I've steadily lost respect for the reasoning ability of our elites and the elites in Western Europe. They've made a series of bad decisions and show no signs of getting back to reality.

Curiously, the Trump Revolt is strongest among less educated voters. I suspect that smarter people are most heavily targeted by elite propaganda and so more likely to drink the Kool-Aid.

From David Frum's The Great Republican Revolt:

These populists seek to defend what the French call “acquired rights”—health care, pensions, and other programs that benefit older people—against bankers and technocrats who endlessly demand austerity; against migrants who make new claims and challenge accustomed ways; against a globalized market that depresses wages and benefits. In the United States, they lean Republican because they fear the Democrats want to take from them and redistribute to Americans who are newer, poorer, and in their view less deserving—to “spread the wealth around,” in candidate Barack Obama’s words to “Joe the Plumber” back in 2008. Yet they have come to fear more and more strongly that their party does not have their best interests at heart.

Really, they do not have their own party. The Democrat elites abandoned them in favor of a permanent majority of Hispanic voters. The Republican elites pretended to embrace them but elite interests are increasingly diverging from those of the middle class.

Will the Republican Party fork? Will the Democratic Party eventually fork as well? It is also made up of a coalition of increasingly diverging interests.

The divergences of interests on the Left will grow for multiple reasons. The Democrats have multiple growing divisions: black vs Hispanic interests; classical liberal rights supporters vs illiberal #SafeSpace identity warriors; upper class cognitive elites vs lower class; tech industry management that wants to hire only cognitive elites vs racial preferences warriors. The list goes on. Can the Democrats manage all that? Seems like the divergences of interests will grow too large for them to reconcile.

The divergences of interests on the Right are growing as well. Downwardly mobile white middle class aspirations are likely to be frustrated (albeit to a lesser extent) if Trump wins. Automation is going to continue to kick the high school drop-outs and high school grads down to lower rungs on the economic ladder. Taxi drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers, short order cooks and many other occupations are going to get automated out of existence by 2030. Ditto most remaining factory jobs.

Wal-Mart is a big source of employment for lower class whites. Wal-Mart is the biggest employer in 20 states. But Wal-Mart will automate and people will continue to shift more of their buying online. Robots will take over all the work in order fulfillment warehouses. Wal-Mart is losing marketshare to Amazon. In 20 years time it seems very unlikely that Wal-Mart will be the biggest employer in America. I expect its staffing to drop in half or more.

The bitterness of American politics is going to grow. Trump's rhetoric a symptom, not a cause. What we are really seeing with Trump's rhetoric is a challenge to elite marginalization of anyone who opposes their will.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2015 December 23 10:29 AM 

Dr. Doom said at December 25, 2015 4:03 AM:

Everyone is blaming nativism. It used to be called patriotism. The United States has ceased to exist and is now occupied territory. War is probably inevitable. Expecting citizens to defer to foreigners on how their tax money is better spent on aliens than sick relatives is going to be a famous historical lesson on bad and Irrelevant Governance trust me on this.

Audacious Epigone said at December 26, 2015 7:50 AM:

While Trump's lead is strongest among older, working-class whites with high school educations, he still dominates among Republicans with at least a BA. It's easy to assume, by media coverage alone, that he isn't winning among college graduates, but it's not at all the case.

Among Republicans with at least 4 years of college, latest Ipsos-Reuters breaks support down as follows:

Trump -- 35.0%
Cruz -- 14.9%
Rubio -- 13.8%
Carson -- 9.7%
Bush -- 6.5%

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