Who gets the credit for Trump's victory? The Tea Party.
There have been many excellent post-election analyses since Trump's improbable win, most of have which have identified the disaffected working class and the failure of the Democrats' politically correct identity politics as the driving factors.
But one thing that seems to be overlooked is the Tea Party, the reasons for its beginnings, and its underlying anti-establismentarianism in this election.
It was not just the failure of the Democrats' urban-centric political focus on minorities, women, and income inequality that deep-sixed Hillary Clinton's campaign. Walking it back, what has outraged so many grassroots conservatives was the phony conservatism under George W. Bush, culminating in the financial crisis of 2008. It pushed them overboard to no longer get fooled by the Republican establishment that had been basically a milder form of the big-government progressivism that had taken over the Democratic Party following the loss of Hubert Humphrey in 1968 to Richard Nixon. It was that crushing loss that sent Democrats on a far-left trajectory for decades to come.
Bush did nothing to cut back the size and growth of government. Instead, he actually expanded it through his unfunded Medicare Part D prescription drug program and the "No Child Left Behind" federally mandated education program. There were no efforts at all to rein in spending and the size of the federal government. And the war with Iraq added untold billions to the ever expanding annual federal deficits.
Bush's "compassionate conservatism" was liberalism in disguise. From "Decision Time for the GOP Elite" at AT:
Remember that the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress during the presidency of George W. Bush and yet nothing was done to control the size, scope, or cost of the federal government.
When the economy began melting down in 2007, culminating in the financial crisis of 2008, McCain was not offering any real solutions or differentiating himself from the "Democrat Lite" policies of both Bush presidencies. The result was an inexperienced but highly articulate and educated, attractive and charismatic man who would become the country's first black president.
The bipartisan $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the $830-billion economic stimulus (where shovel-ready jobs were nowhere to be found) were the last straws. The grassroots had had enough, and the Tea Party was born to take on and push back the political elites driving the country into the financial ditch.
It's common knowledge now that the 2010 and 2014 midterms were essentially driven by the Tea Party influence on the electorate, especially after the passage of Obamacare put the federal government on ever more powerful steroids in growing its size, spending, and intrusion on individual life.
Kimberly Strassel writes at The Wall Street Journal:
What Democrats should realize, because everyone else does, is that voters rejected both their policies (which have undermined middle- and low-income families) and their governance (which has fueled rage at a power-hungry federal government).
The Tea Party's influence on the grassroots and especially the blue-collar working class culminated in the election of Trump. Right now they're not getting the credit they deserve, but when the history books are written about this election, the Tea Party movement should be getting most if not all of the credit for setting in motion the biggest presidential upset in history. It's the Tea Party that ushered in a complete outsider with zero political experience to upend the existing political order.