Debated my old county board colleague Brett Hulsey Friday on Mitch Henck’s show. He’s actually a pretty good guy. But he fell back on the usual explanation of the Democrats’ electoral distress — that it was all economics. That’s about what one would expect from the neo-Marxist party, for whom everything is economics. (The podcast here.)
I made the point that 2016 was as much cultural as economic. JFK put a man on the moon, Barack Obama put a man in the ladies’ room. Hillary’s “basket of Deplorables.” Sneering those who cling to their guns and religion. Drum circles in the State Capitol. Cop-hating, speech stifling window-smashers. Hollywood elite … flyover country — underscored by Hillary’s spurning of Wisconsin and her overweening concern for the environment at the expense of jobs.
Lo (and behold), a new analysis of post-election survey data conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic confirms your Squire’s insight:
Evidence suggests financially troubled voters in the white working class were more likely to prefer Clinton over Trump. Besides partisan affiliation, it was cultural anxiety — feeling like a stranger in America, supporting the deportation of immigrants, and hesitating about educational investment — that best predicted support for Trump … [that was] — especially powerful in the Midwest. — as reported in The Atlantic.
At the end of the broadcast, Mitch asked if Trump would finish out his term. Good question. If anyone can revive the spirits of Democrats, it is Donald Trump. It certainly isn’t Martha Laning. Who? Exactly!
Will wonders never cease?
One would not expect the New York Times to review with favor a book from rightwing flame-thrower Patrick Buchanan. But Joe Klein, no stranger to realpolitik, does just that in Sunday’s book review.
At Nixon’s side, Pat Buchanan took on the elite news media nearly 50 years before Donald Trump. Reviewer Klein writes:
It is easy to be horrified by Buchanan’s gleeful excesses, but that is the reaction he’s hoping to elicit. Humorless upper-crust liberalism is the fattest of targets. Beneath the vitriol, though, Buchanan has spent his career raising important questions that our society has never seemed willing to discuss forthrightly. What should be the limits of identity politics? In a democracy, should courts or legislatures decide basic policies like abortion, busing and campaign finance? Should we trade the higher prices that will come from protectionism for the increased stability that might come from keeping more blue-collar jobs at home? These are the issues that Buchanan has been thumping for the past 50 years, and that Donald Trump exploited in 2016. They cannot be dismissed. We are, for the moment, living in Pat Buchanan’s world.
The final wonderment. The Wisconsin State Journal has found some courage. It actually endorsed a key provision of Scott Walker’s Act 10. “More schools should move to merit pay.” Over 40% of school systems in Wisconsin use this tool of excellence. A university study confirms its benefits. Merit pay remains anathema in the Madison public school system, which, increasingly, is retrograde.