"Class increasingly defines America’s new Culture Wars, pitting the rising power of well-educated, and self-regarding, supermen (or should I say super-people), against those they regard as less cognitively gifted. This clerisy – the media, academia, the well-funded progressive non-profits – is now waging what the Atlantic recently called ‘a war on stupid people’, which, of course, extends particularly to those who back the loutish Trump. As a group, this educated caste shares increasingly uniformly progressive social views and are almost 50 per cent more likely to be Democrats than Republicans.
There are good reasons for the new cognitive class to like the progressive status quo. Along with the corporate aristocracy who fund the Democratic Party, the hyper-educated have thrived under Obama. In contrast, the bulk of the working and middle class have seen their incomes stagnate or decline.
The new class has little stake in the traditional economy – agribusiness, energy, manufacturing, suburban home-building – that has traditionally provided decent employment to the working and middle classes. Some among them, notably the environmental zealots, even decry rising living standards for ordinary Americans as the primary threat to the environment. The entire progressive agenda increasingly constitutes an attempt to drive poverty out of the centre of cities and into the middle class. And in Trumpian fashion, they want to make the middle class, with their tax dollars, pay for the privilege."
Compare with the New Republicans:
"Trump’s emergence has benefited from worsening race relations, as sadly demonstrated in the recent rash of cop killings. The terrorist attacks mounted primarily by young Muslims both here and in Europe, and a rise in violent crime, have contributed to the Trump campaign and could still make his victory, however unlikely, possible.
The mass migration of largely undocumented poor people from developing countries – mainly Mexico and Latin America – is also less than welcomed by working- and middle-class people, who not only have to accommodate the newcomers in their schools and neighbourhoods, but must also compete with them for jobs. In contrast, the upper classes in tony suburbs or prime urban districts see immigration as all good – it supplies them with cheap household labour, better restaurants and it injects some ‘colour’ into otherwise predictably dull commercial districts.
Nor has the progressive left done much to promote tolerance. The very premise of movements like Black Lives Matter implies that other lives, including those of police, are less important. The overwhelming white cognitive elite dismisses the legitimate concerns of the white working class and sees only unreconstructed racism.
This contempt spills into a growing dispute about the validity of America’s traditional culture. Now denounced for its past racism, it is rarely celebrated for its continuing success at integration. Globalist progressivism is so deeply entrenched in blue lagoons like Silicon Valley, it’s doubtful the oligarchs in charge even notice. Google, for example, recently celebrated the life of the radical pro-Bin Laden activist Yuri Kochiyama, but saw fit to ignore the anniversary of D-Day. Facebook and Twitter now increasingly curate the news like 19th-century Boston Brahmins, usually with a decidedly progressive bias."
The progressives seek top down authoritarian rule over the "stupid people," by people so stupid it is incomprehensible. Obama, and Hillary head the list, and they have created a world where nearly every corner is in active conflict, and death, and war are more common than they have been in generations. The world economy is in shambles, with even the most prosperous first world nations are in serious jeopardy of a decade of depression (Greece, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal all are in desperate shape). Race relations in America have hit a new low, after decades of improvement. And entirely new and vacuous gender, identity, and sexual obsessions rule the progressive mind.
And what of the New Republicans?
"In his Cleveland speech, Thiel pointed to what should really matter – issues of community, of economic opportunity and, yes, pride in being a citizen of the most powerful republic in world history. Many in Silicon Valley and the media prefer that the big issues are those of gender, race and sexual preference. But Thiel rightly consigned them to secondary importance, saying: ‘Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?’
Trump sees this, too. He, at the very least, talks about sparking economic growth, which is a precursor to upward mobility. In contrast, the contemporary Democratic Party, notes former Bill Clinton adviser Bill Galston, now displays ‘near-silence on economic growth’."
They are focusing on more important points, and less on navel gazing, political correctness, and other inane self aggrandizement.
Kotkin, a progressive, and liberal, believes Trump will self immolate, and this remains a possibility. But his recent changes belie that this is a probability. Trumps reevaluation of his core positions on immigration, and trade are all positive, and show the willingness to understand the desires of the public, and craft policies which can help them attain their goals.
Further, Trumps recent trip to Mexico, and its impressive success, shows that he is a careful deal maker, with strong statesmanship. Hillary has never shown this quality even when she was traveling the world as Secretary of State. It is incredible that after years as the Secretary, she has very little to show for her efforts, or to point to as a success. Trump in a single visit has as much as Hillary had after years of meetings, and travels.
"However, the forces stirred up and tapped by Trump will not go away anytime soon, even if he loses. What the rebellion now needs, more than anything, is a messenger like Ronald Reagan in 1980, who appealed to earlier resentments but with a fierce sense of discipline and decorum. Some day, the swagger, arrogance and manipulation of the united ruling classes may have to confront a messenger who, unlike Trump, can make a more convincing case against them. Those who laugh today at Trump and his ‘stupid’ supporters may not be so jocular that day."
I am unconvinced that this is what the movement needs today. I suspect that Trump is exactly what the movement needs. What Trump needs is someone behind him to steady his bombastic nature, focus him on the singular important details (in business this is not as commonly a problem as it is in today's political climate where Obama, and Hillary have left pretty much everything in the political sphere in a disastrous mess). It appears both of these things have recently taken place. Now Trump only needs to consolidate his positions, lay out serious social, and economic proposals, and if possible meet with one or two more foreign representatives where he can achieve positive results.
Hillary has no way of matching this. She has proven to be incompetent in foreign policy, except that she mouths the platitudes that the coterie of foreign policy "experts" believe. These are uniformly cold warriors seeking to rebuild the old Cold War paradigm. These old thinkers have not had a new idea since the 1960s and the Cuban missile crisis. Best to move on from their Ancien Regime thinking.
I have no idea where this goes, but Kotkin is correct that it will not go away.