Friday, September 09, 2016

Molten cores and racial wedgies

Image via DNews.
World-famous futurologist David Brooks has big political plans for you, people ("Time for a Realignment"):

There’s a good chance many of you will be switching political parties over the next 15 years. You may be a corporate executive who’s voted rock-solid Republican for decades, but you may be a consistent Democrat by 2024. You may be an African-American community activist in Cleveland, but don’t be surprised if you someday call the Republican Party home.
It's another stab at that "realignment" column he tried writing a couple of months ago, where everything is going to change or has already changed because of Trump or in spite of him, as the case may be, the details are still pretty fluid, and we will end up with a new party system representing the open vs. the closed, in the picture you might get by jumbling recent research by fascist Charles Murray and liberal Robert Putnam and David Brooks's own journey into the heart of whiteness of earlier this year, where, as you'll recall, he crossed from the bourgeois strata across the chasms of segmentation into the pain to interview a couple of high school principals and factory owners in Pittsburgh, and possibly some other folks in some other towns as yet not revealed:

the most important social divide today is between a well-educated America that is marked by economic openness, traditional family structures, high social capital and high trust in institutions, and a less-educated America that is marked by economic insecurity, anarchic family structures, fraying community bonds and a pervasive sense of betrayal and distrust.
But this division is not represented in our party system, in which each major party has voters from both camps, with the difference that all the less-educated Republicans are white people and all the more-educated Democrats are the ruling class. Or, putting it another way, each party is a planet, with crust and core, in an inverse relationship, in which the Republican crust is the educated, trustful, and socially well-capitalized business executive and the core is the distressed and divorced and mistrustful white guy, while the Democratic crust is the less-educated members of minority groups and the core is the graduates of our most prestigious law schools, or at least those in or near important port cities. I'm not making this up, you know!

The Republican Party is now a coalition of globalization-loving business executives and globalization-hating white workers. That’s untenable. At its molten core, the Republican Party has become the party of the dispossessed, not the party of cosmopolitan business....
The Democratic Party is currently a coalition of the upscale urban professionals who make up the ruling class and less-affluent members of minorities who feel betrayed by it. That’s untenable, too. At its molten core the Democratic Party is the party of the coastal professional class, the 2016 presidential ticket of Yale Law and Harvard Law.
Thus the way to attain stability is for the parties to exchange crusts: the minority members will all travel to join their ill-educated white comrades in the GOP, while the TPP-loving business executives will associate in a new and improved Democratic party with their natural allies the attorneys.

Before too long the politics will break down into openness versus closedness, dynamism versus stability, what Ronald Brownstein of The Atlantic described in 2012 as the Coalition of Transformation versus the Coalition of Restoration.
Except of course Brownstein said it had happened in 2012, in the Obama vs. Romney contest, so it can't be exactly the same, unless you're thinking of a retroactionary development (it's going to happen before too long ago).

Also there are some people in the current Democratic party that oppose certain trade agreements, so they'll need to move as well:

imagine a Republican Party after Donald Trump, led by a younger candidate without his bigotry and culture war tropes. That party will begin to attract disaffected Sanders people who detest the Trans-Pacific Partnership and possibly some minority voters highly suspicious of the political elite.
Not sure where the bigots and culture war troopers are meant to go in this scenario. I thought those guys with their difference phobias were what the closed vs. open thing was all about in the first place, so it seems a little thoughtless to leave them in the lurch like this, but then again I guess everybody needs to be ready to sacrifice something for the greater good. Maybe they can take vows under Rod Dreher in his metaphorical Benedictine abbeys and not vote at all.

So the Republican party will just become the advance guard of the revolutionary proletariat, only isolationist, and the Democrats will become the management committee of the bourgeoisie? Why not? It's practically in the bag!

If the Republicans can drop the racial wedges — which admittedly may be a big ask — and become more the party designed to succor those who are disaffected from the globalizing information age, then it might win over some minority voters, and the existing party alignments will unravel in short order.
I am not a crank!

Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names.


Feud Turgidson said...

Ever since I gave up read any column by David Brooks, whenever I read something, like this piece by Yas, on a David Brooks column, largely because this category of TIMES time-wasting puzzle inevitably involves at least some quoting from said column, I wonder again where it is that Brooks goes to get these half-backed Applebeean fantasies. I'm inclined to think the key is his regular retreat to a remote laboratory where he and his assistants Chaz & Eyegore conduct gruesome experiments on newborn kittens.

The New York Crank said...

I'm sorry, this is just as hard to follow as I found college calculus. Could we all please go back to something less befuddling, like name-calling, or finger-pointing?

Crankily yours,
The New York Crank

Tom Hilton said...

If the Republicans can drop the racial wedges...

If I win the Unicorn Lottery on Mars...

swkellogg said...

"If the Republicans can drop the racial wedges..."

Whereupon young master Brooks removed the electrode studded spaghetti colander from his head, switched off the oscilloscope and Tesla coils to which it was connected and for the first time - KNEW - that his magnificent vision of the future -- where the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners sat together at the table of brotherhood -- was but little more than 8.5 Friedman units from the first inklings of its glorious rosy colored dawning.

Jim Snyder said...

@swkellogg: +1

Unknown said...

Maybe Juno will give us some insight into Jupiter's awesome magnetic field, but the absence of magnetic fields on Mars and Venus has left us stumped. It's touching that Brooks imagines that the usual planet is like a sugary confection snatched too soon from a hot oven, crusty on the outside, gooey in the middle ... was he hungry when he wrote this?

Ed Baptist said...

An unconscious, but clear, call for a return to Prohibition?