Trump Overseeing the Destruction of the Democrat Coalition
Back in November of 2000, the alt-right blogger Steve Sailer wrote a provocative column on how the Republican Party could achieve near-permanent electoral majorities for at least a generation.
And, no, his proposal wasn't amnesty, entitlement programs, abortion for all, or lightening up on sexual ethics.
The Sailer cause was simple: focus more attention on white voters, including union card-holders in the Rust Belt. If the working class could be extricated from the grips of the left, then the GOP would be the dominant party, occupying a space similar to where Democrats were after the New Deal.
Given that George Bush had just won election (by the skin of his teeth, mind), the Sailer Strategy was ignored upon release. That wasn't surprising. Where Democrats don't hesitate to wade into the pool of exciting racial interest, Republicans fear to tread.
But times change. With Donald Trump's improbable White House win, the Sailer Strategy deserves a second look. Not only did the populist billionaire pry blue-collar strongholds like Michigan and Pennsylvania away from Hillary's withered grasp, his victory revealed the underlying divisions within the Democrats' identitarian voting machine.
Trump's sticking up for factory workers by trashing the GOP orthodoxy of free trade has certainly proved effective. His outreach to unions within his first few days as president was unprecedented. "It was by far the best meeting I've had [in Washington]," said Sean McGarvey, president of the North America's Building Trades Unions.
Now, a photo-op with the leaders of the country's biggest organized labor groups doesn't mean rank-and-file union members are die-hard Republicans now. Many still want Trump to make good on the large infrastructure bill he promised. But with the administration's decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, along with a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in the works, the art of goodwill is taking hold.
Trump's olive branch to union workers is good politics. But in the long run, it probably won't be enough to stave off the Democrats' capitalizing on America's changing demographics.
Here's where the internal strife apparent in the Democrat coalition is big blessing. Trump's capture of the Oval Office was supposed to be a catalyst to a renewed liberal grassroots resistance movement. The foundation was already laid. The hype for a fight was so loud, it got fumbling dimwit Keith Olbermann a job in politics again.
And to be totally fair, Trump is the ne plus ultra target for the progressively aggrieved: he's a rich white business owner who talks about women like a septuagenarian barfly and believes that the police don't police the inner city enough.
For the left, Trump is worse than Archie Bunker, Richard Nixon, and Bull Connor combined. His old-boy demeanor even had left-wing loony-tune Bill Maher apologizing for his past disparaging rhetoric about George Bush and Mitt Romney.
The "KKKrazy glue" that holds the Democrats together is starting to dry out. Last week's Women's March on Washington was the biggest anti-Trump demonstration yet. There was just one problem: the conspicuous absence of minorities. Various Black Lives Matter groups spoke out about the absence of colored attendees. Even before the event, the predominately white presence behind the march was a big point of contention among organizers. One BLM activist took to Instagram to lecture white women on their inherent privilege and demanded they start "listening more, talking less, spend time observing, taking in media and art created by people of color, researching, and unlearning the things you have been taught about this country."
So much for feminine togetherness!
Transgendered individuals were quick to get in on the complaining as well. The march's trademark "pussy hat," a pink crocheted bonnet meant to somehow signify female empowerment via vaginal headgear, was offensive to self-identifying "women" who lack the requisite anatomy. "How the Women's March's 'genital-based' feminism isolated the transgender community" was the title of one such screed lamenting the influence of trans-exclusionary radical feminists.
I expect these kinds of grievances to ramp up as the intersectionality behind minority solidarity becomes a 50-car pileup. What it comes down to is a difference of interest. There's really no rational reason why blacks and transgendered people should ally. The same with Hispanics here legally and those here illegally. And again with feminists and blacks. The one commonality these groups share is the itch to tear down the white heteronormative patriarchy. Without it, the groups are bound to turn on one another.
Democrats understand this and are doing their best to keep their "coalition of the fringes" from tearing each other's throats out. But like the Mosul dam, the cracks can't be patched up indefinitely. Something must give.
It certainly doesn't help that Trump turned the Democrats' best weapon against them. The campaign used identity politics to its advantage to cobble enough states together to win the presidency. "Trump voters are opposed not to identity politics but to identity politics for everyone but them," tweeted National Review's John O'Sullivan on election night. Who knew that if you incessantly trash white people for their inherent makeup, they lash out in equal measure?
Trump can probably count on white-based identity politics as a winner for the near future. But even Sailer admits it's not a long-term panacea for the GOP's image and outreach problems. Instead, President Trump could steer the Republican Party back to an old but elegant political strategy: using the power of government to benefit real, breathing citizens. No more paeans to optimistic ideologies, far-flung democracy-building adventures, or foreigners who find American culture weird and impious.