Friday, December 2, 2016

Can Trumpism Survive Trump?

Here’s a piece by RCP editor Emily Goodin that talks about how Donald Trump rewrote the script on how to win in Pennsylvania.

See, Hillary Clinton did pretty well in Pennsylvania,
gaining about 60,000 more votes than Obama. But Trump got almost 300,000 more votes than Romney did.
Trump concentrated on the rural votes while Clinton concentrated on the four suburban “collar counties” around Philadelphia. But the election came down to turnout. It’s not the percentages that we see in the polls. It’s motivating and turning out the raw vote totals.

But Trump did not do well in the suburban “collar counties.” And we know why. He did not appeal to the college-educated graduates in the suburbs, particularly, I should imagine, the college-educated women taught to believe that men should never indulge in locker-room talk.

The next question is obvious.

Can the Trump phenomenon succeed without Trump?

I’d say it could if Trump expands his white working-class base to include the non-white working class. Right now, our liberal friends are fainting in the aisles because Trump is a racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe, and Islamophobe. Besides which he is a hater. Plus, he triggers people.

Liberals will obviously keep going at their racist, sexist, homophobe name-calling; it’s what they do. But it seems to me that Trump has a clear strategy to win the hearts and minds of not just the white working class but the non-white working class.

On the one hand there is his Carrier tactics: showcase headline successes in keeping jobs in the US. This is something the man in the street understands.

On the other hand there is the economic policy tactics: roll back taxes and regulations on businesses. Oh, and keep the fracking revolution going with cheap oil and above all cheap natural gas.

Did you know that industries have already been moving to the US because of the collapse in natural gas prices? The point is that natural gas is used as a “feedstock” for industries like plastics, and natural gas is very expensive in Europe where industry is forced to use imported gas from Russia.

Everybody has an opinion about jawboning corporations and “saving” jobs from foreign competition.

But the real action, that few people understand, is in the economic rules. Our liberal and Democratic friends believe in an administered economy, on the Obamacare model. Government will define and mold the commanding heights of the economy and tame the capitalist law of the jungle with beneficial regulation and targeted tax cuts. And government will direct the economy towards beneficial ends like subsidizing the move to planet-saving renewable energy and bike paths.

Everything about the liberal view is false, falsified by science and falsified by history. But that doesn’t matter because liberals naturally believe in their intelligence and the need to have the power to use their intelligence for socially beneficial ends, and ordinary people naturally think in patron/client notions about the big man having the power to protect them from the cruel world.

So the visible Trump policy will be the Carrier-type “deals” and infrastructure jobs while the invisible policy will be the reduction in corporate income tax rates and regulations in the face of liberal rhetoric about Trump acting for the rich and the 1%.

And maybe Trump will convince a slice of black and Latino voters that he cares about people like them.

But I wonder about the college graduates. I worry that college graduates actually believe the lies and the rubbish that their liberal university professors have taught them about race and gender.

And that is the real reason to worry about the future of America.

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