'It's not just the economy, stupid'
We are in the midst of a great political transition from one era to another. Such transitions are rare in this country. "The End of the New Deal Era, and the Coming Realignment" in the American Interest, by Frank J. DiStefano, says there have been five such eras in our history. At the end of each era, in response to the failure of the old party system, the parties reinvent themselves, making new coalitions in attempting to form a majority. DiStefano says the Democratic and Republican coalitions of the New Deal era which is just ending are both inadequate and need a do-over.
What DiStefano doesn't appreciate is that the reinvention of the Republican Party has already taken place. It happened in the 2016 election. Today's Republicans are now nationalists and populists, and, as always, constitutional conservatives. Out goes the Chamber of Commerce. In come the working men and women of America.
So, DiStefano is right, except only one party is in disarray, and it's the Democrats. The cascade of presidential candidates is a sign of incoherence. The party is fragmenting. The only traditional Democrat, with proven appeal to working-class whites is the besieged Joe Biden. The man's ego is so enflamed and he's such a drama queen that it may take him a while to accept reality. He's toast.
Bernie Sanders is head and shoulders above the rest, a man who is intent on transforming the Democratic Party into a vehicle to advance socialism. He's a lunatic, a true believer in a totally discredited, crackpot ideology. As long as he's in the race, he'll pull the party further to the loony left. The mix of abortion extremism, gun control, climate hysteria, open borders, and warmed-over socialism is not a winning set of issues.
So when you think about the cards being dealt Donald Trump, it's not just the economy. He has a full hand. And he plays the game well.
Fritz Pettyjohn was an Alaska State Senator, and blogs at ReaganProject.com