Now here comes Salena Zito, at RCP, "A Political Realignment 10 Years in the Making":
In this election cycle, we've pretty much put the cart before the horse. We mock the folks flocking to Donald Trump, because we never acknowledged their frustrations.This is great!
The political class only seemed to notice people's frustration this summer as both Trump and Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, began running circles around the establishment candidates.
Well, I've been reporting that frustration from locales across the country since 2005. (Yes, people have been building to this moment for 10 years.) A cursory look at the “wave” midterm election cycles from 2006 through 2014, the “change” presidential election of 2008, and the total realignment of state legislative majorities, provides sufficient evidence of America's frustration with government.
This country's political alignment is missing one thing, and it's a big thing — a party that represents the moderately traditionalist values of the country's majority.
America doesn't need two secular, cosmopolitan parties.
Trump's secret is that he has found an unoccupied space to practice politics. Call it the politically incorrect, moderately traditionalist, main-street economics zone, where winners and losers exist (just as in the real world) and it is not a crime to believe unabashedly in American greatness.
Trump has stoked xenophobic fears and used his crass showmanship to mark out this territory. His tactics of strong demagoguery make it completely understandable to lament his success.
Yet, in order for our political system to work, people must feel as if they have real choices that can make a difference — and they haven't felt that way for some time.
This election cycle began with Americans being told that Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton were the inevitable choices. Many people just snapped.
Haynes argues that this is why people looked outside the political system to independent-minded candidates like Trump and Sanders. “If that fails, they will seek to change the system,” he said.
What we don't need are two parties or candidates perceived to be standard-bearers of the secular elites who are economically comfortable.
What we do need is someone who represents a middle-class that holds traditional values and believes all things are achievable, especially if government doesn't drag us down.
That kind of disruption in our political alignment doesn't happen overnight.
Remember, it took the Republican Party 36 years — starting with the 1820 Missouri compromise, followed by several disruptive movements and fractured elements — before it pulled together as a united party, agreed on a unifying platform and elected Abraham Lincoln as president.