Trump: L’improbable champion d’une revanche des bouseux que personne n’avait vu venir (How a lifelong New Yorker became tribune of the rustics and deplorables)

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static2-politico-comstatic-politico-comAux États-Unis, les plus opulents citoyens ont bien soin de ne point s’isoler du peuple ; au contraire, ils s’en rapprochent sans cesse, ils l’écoutent volontiers et lui parlent tous les jours. Ils savent que les riches des démocraties ont toujours besoin des pauvres et que, dans les temps démocratiques, on s’attache le pauvre par les manières plus que par les bienfaits. La grandeur même des bienfaits, qui met en lumière la différence des conditions, cause une irritation secrète à ceux qui en profitent; mais la simplicité des manières a des charmes presque irrésistibles : leur familiarité entraîne et leur grossièreté même ne déplaît pas toujours. Ce n’est pas du premier coup que cette vérité pénètre dans l’esprit des riches. Ils y résistent d’ordinaire tant que dure la révolution démocratique, et ils ne l’abandonnent même point aussitôt après que cette révolution est accomplie. Ils consentent volontiers à faire du bien au peuple ; mais ils veulent continuer à le tenir à distance. Ils croient que cela suffit ; ils se trompent. Ils se ruineraient ainsi sans réchauffer le coeur de la population qui les environne. Ce n’est pas le sacrifice de leur argent qu’elle leur demande; c’est celui de leur orgueil. Tocqueville
Last night I stood at your doorstep, trying to figure out what went wrong. It’s gonna be a long walk home. Bruce Springsteen 
Les gens  attendaient  Trump  et  son  discours franc, qui dit les choses comme elles sont et qui promet de défendre les intérêts du peuple.  Il  ne  tourne  pas  autour  du  pot  et c’est ça qu’on aime. (…)  et même si Trump ne le sait pas,  je  suis  persuadé  qu’il  a  été  envoyé par Dieu pour réparer ce pays et lui rendre  sa  grandeur  !  Le  système  est  corrompu,  nous  devons  revenir  aux  fondamentaux  :  les  valeurs  américaines,  le travail, le respect. Obama  est  allé  s’excuser  autour  du  monde, et  résultat,  personne  ne  nous  respecte. Cela va changer. Kelly Lee
Les choses vont changer avec Trump car ce  n’est  pas  un  politicien,  il  ne  doit rien à cette élite qui vit entre elle depuis si longtemps. Mike Costello
Les médias sont en embuscade, mais nous ne sommes pas inquiets parce que le peuple a vraiment vu le vrai visage partisan  de  ces  médias.  Trump  ne  se  laissera pas  faire.  Au  début  j’ai  été  choquée  de voir   son   usage   de   Twitter   car   je   suis conservatrice. Mais maintenant, je comprends.  Il  déjouera  leurs  plans  et  dira aux gens ce qu’il pense vraiment s’ils déforment    ses    propos. Nous avons besoin de lois. Aujourd’hui, les  gardes-frontières  n’ont  pas  le  droit d’arrêter les illégaux et laissent des villes sanctuaires  les  protéger  sans  la  moindre sanction.  Est-ce  normal  ?  La  presse  dit que c’est raciste de penser ce que je vous dis,   mais   c’est   ridicule   !   Nous   serions donc devenus une nation de racistes par- ce   que   nous   ne   sommes   pas   d’accord avec  ce   laxisme ? Annette
Ce  qui  nous  plaît   chez Trump, c’est qu’il ne doit rien à personne. Il est milliardaire mais il accepte de faire  ce  job  pour  sauver  le  pays.  Il  n’en   avait pas besoin. C’est son atout. Car il va  pouvoir  se  concentrer  sur  l’essentiel,  au   lieu de penser à être réélu.  Obama  s’est  trop  excusé, nous devons montrer notre force. Nous espérons  que  Trump  sera  le  Reagan  de   notre  génération. James Mack (ouvrier machiniste de Pennsylvanie)
Vous allez dans certaines petites villes de Pennsylvanie où, comme ans beaucoup de petites villes du Middle West, les emplois ont disparu depuis maintenant 25 ans et n’ont été remplacés par rien d’autre (…) Et il n’est pas surprenant qu’ils deviennent pleins d’amertume, qu’ils s’accrochent aux armes à feu ou à la religion, ou à leur antipathie pour ceux qui ne sont pas comme eux, ou encore à un sentiment d’hostilité envers les immigrants. Barack Obama (2008)
Pour généraliser, en gros, vous pouvez placer la moitié des partisans de Trump dans ce que j’appelle le panier des pitoyables. Les racistes, sexistes, homophobes, xénophobes, islamophobes. A vous de choisir. Hillary Clinton
It’s not just visual: In interview after interview in all corners of the state, I’ve found that Trump’s support across the ideological spectrum remains strong. Democrats, Republicans, independents, people who have not voted in presidential elections for years — they have not wavered in their support. Two components of these voters’ answers and profiles remain consistent: They are middle-class, and they do not live in a big city. They are suburban to rural and are not poor — an element I found fascinating, until a Gallup survey last week confirmed that what I’ve gathered in interviews is more than just freakishly anecdotal. The Gallup analysis, based on 87,000 interviews over the past year, shows that while economic anxiety and Trump’s appeal are intertwined, his supporters for the most part do not make less than average Americans (not those in New York City or Washington, perhaps, but their Main Street peers) and are less likely to be unemployed. The study backs up what many of my interviews across the state found — that these people are more concerned about their children and grandchildren. While Trump supporters here are overwhelmingly white, their support has little to do with race (yes, you’ll always find one or two who make race the issue) but has a lot to do with a perceived loss of power. Not power in the way that Washington or Wall Street board rooms view power, but power in the sense that these people see a diminishing respect for them and their ways of life, their work ethic, their tendency to not be mobile (many live in the same eight square miles that their father’s father’s father lived in). Thirty years ago, such people determined the country’s standards in entertainment, music, food, clothing, politics, personal values. Today, they are the people who are accused of creating every social injustice imaginable; when anything in society fails, they get blamed. The places where they live lack economic opportunities for the next generation; they know their children and grandchildren will never experience the comfortable situations they had growing up — surrounded by family who lived next door, able to find a great job without going to college, both common traits among many successful small-business owners in the state. These Trump supporters are not the kind you find on Twitter saying dumb or racist things; many of them don’t have the time or the patience to engage in social media because they are too busy working and living life in real time. These are voters who are intellectually offended watching the Affordable Care Act crumble because they warned six years ago that it was an unworkable government overreach. They are the same people who wonder why President Obama has not taken a break from a week of golfing to address the devastating floods in Louisiana. (As one woman told me, “It appears as if he only makes statements during tragedies if there is political gain attached.”) Voice such a remark, and you risk being labeled a racist in many parts of America. The Joe-Six-Pack stereotype of a Trump supporter was not created in a vacuum; it’s real and it’s out there. Yet, if you dig down deep into the Gallup survey — or, better yet, take a drive 15 minutes outside of most cities in America — you will learn a different story. That is, if you look and listen. Salena Zito
America is coming apart. For most of our nation’s history, whatever the inequality in wealth between the richest and poorest citizens, we maintained a cultural equality known nowhere else in the world—for whites, anyway. (…) But t’s not true anymore, and it has been progressively less true since the 1960s. People are starting to notice the great divide. The tea party sees the aloofness in a political elite that thinks it knows best and orders the rest of America to fall in line. The Occupy movement sees it in an economic elite that lives in mansions and flies on private jets. Each is right about an aspect of the problem, but that problem is more pervasive than either political or economic inequality. What we now face is a problem of cultural inequality. When Americans used to brag about « the American way of life »—a phrase still in common use in 1960—they were talking about a civic culture that swept an extremely large proportion of Americans of all classes into its embrace. It was a culture encompassing shared experiences of daily life and shared assumptions about central American values involving marriage, honesty, hard work and religiosity. Over the past 50 years, that common civic culture has unraveled. We have developed a new upper class with advanced educations, often obtained at elite schools, sharing tastes and preferences that set them apart from mainstream America. At the same time, we have developed a new lower class, characterized not by poverty but by withdrawal from America’s core cultural institutions. (…) Why have these new lower and upper classes emerged? For explaining the formation of the new lower class, the easy explanations from the left don’t withstand scrutiny. It’s not that white working class males can no longer make a « family wage » that enables them to marry. The average male employed in a working-class occupation earned as much in 2010 as he did in 1960. It’s not that a bad job market led discouraged men to drop out of the labor force. Labor-force dropout increased just as fast during the boom years of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s as it did during bad years. (…) As I’ve argued in much of my previous work, I think that the reforms of the 1960s jump-started the deterioration. Changes in social policy during the 1960s made it economically more feasible to have a child without having a husband if you were a woman or to get along without a job if you were a man; safer to commit crimes without suffering consequences; and easier to let the government deal with problems in your community that you and your neighbors formerly had to take care of. But, for practical purposes, understanding why the new lower class got started isn’t especially important. Once the deterioration was under way, a self-reinforcing loop took hold as traditionally powerful social norms broke down. Because the process has become self-reinforcing, repealing the reforms of the 1960s (something that’s not going to happen) would change the trends slowly at best. Meanwhile, the formation of the new upper class has been driven by forces that are nobody’s fault and resist manipulation. The economic value of brains in the marketplace will continue to increase no matter what, and the most successful of each generation will tend to marry each other no matter what. As a result, the most successful Americans will continue to trend toward consolidation and isolation as a class. Changes in marginal tax rates on the wealthy won’t make a difference. Increasing scholarships for working-class children won’t make a difference. The only thing that can make a difference is the recognition among Americans of all classes that a problem of cultural inequality exists and that something has to be done about it. That « something » has nothing to do with new government programs or regulations. Public policy has certainly affected the culture, unfortunately, but unintended consequences have been as grimly inevitable for conservative social engineering as for liberal social engineering. The « something » that I have in mind has to be defined in terms of individual American families acting in their own interests and the interests of their children. Doing that in Fishtown requires support from outside. There remains a core of civic virtue and involvement in working-class America that could make headway against its problems if the people who are trying to do the right things get the reinforcement they need—not in the form of government assistance, but in validation of the values and standards they continue to uphold. The best thing that the new upper class can do to provide that reinforcement is to drop its condescending « nonjudgmentalism. » Married, educated people who work hard and conscientiously raise their kids shouldn’t hesitate to voice their disapproval of those who defy these norms. When it comes to marriage and the work ethic, the new upper class must start preaching what it practices. Charles Murray
We’re in the midst of a rebellion. The bottom and middle are pushing against the top. It’s a throwing off of old claims and it’s been going on for a while, but we’re seeing it more sharply after New Hampshire. This is not politics as usual, which by its nature is full of surprise. There’s something deep, suggestive, even epochal about what’s happening now. I have thought for some time that there’s a kind of soft French Revolution going on in America, with the angry and blocked beginning to push hard against an oblivious elite. It is not only political. Yes, it is about the Democratic National Committee, that house of hacks, and about a Republican establishment owned by the donor class. But establishment journalism, which for eight months has been simultaneously at Donald Trump’s feet (“Of course you can call us on your cell from the bathtub for your Sunday show interview!”) and at his throat (“Trump supporters, many of whom are nativists and nationalists . . .”) is being rebelled against too. Their old standing as guides and gatekeepers? Gone, and not only because of multiplying platforms. (…) All this goes hand in hand with the general decline of America’s faith in its institutions. We feel less respect for almost all of them—the church, the professions, the presidency, the Supreme Court. The only formal national institution that continues to score high in terms of public respect (72% in the most recent Gallup poll) is the military (…) we are in a precarious position in the U.S. with so many of our institutions going down. Many of those pushing against the system have no idea how precarious it is or what they will be destroying. Those defending it don’t know how precarious its position is or even what they’re defending, or why. But people lose respect for a reason. (…) It’s said this is the year of anger but there’s a kind of grim practicality to Trump and Sanders supporters. They’re thinking: Let’s take a chance. Washington is incapable of reform or progress; it’s time to reach outside. Let’s take a chance on an old Brooklyn socialist. Let’s take a chance on the casino developer who talks on TV. In doing so, they accept a decline in traditional political standards. You don’t have to have a history of political effectiveness anymore; you don’t even have to have run for office! “You’re so weirdly outside the system, you may be what the system needs.” They are pouring their hope into uncertain vessels, and surely know it. Bernie Sanders is an actual radical: He would fundamentally change an economic system that imperfectly but for two centuries made America the wealthiest country in the history of the world. In the young his support is understandable: They have never been taught anything good about capitalism and in their lifetimes have seen it do nothing—nothing—to protect its own reputation. It is middle-aged Sanders supporters who are more interesting. They know what they’re turning their backs on. They know they’re throwing in the towel. My guess is they’re thinking something like: Don’t aim for great now, aim for safe. Terrorism, a world turning upside down, my kids won’t have it better—let’s just try to be safe, more communal. A shrewdness in Sanders and Trump backers: They share one faith in Washington, and that is in its ability to wear anything down. They think it will moderate Bernie, take the edges off Trump. For this reason they don’t see their choices as so radical. (…) The mainstream journalistic mantra is that the GOP is succumbing to nativism, nationalism and the culture of celebrity. That allows them to avoid taking seriously Mr. Trump’s issues: illegal immigration and Washington’s 15-year, bipartisan refusal to stop it; political correctness and how it is strangling a free people; and trade policies that have left the American working class displaced, adrift and denigrated. Mr. Trump’s popularity is propelled by those issues and enabled by his celebrity. (…) Mr. Trump is a clever man with his finger on the pulse, but his political future depends on two big questions. The first is: Is he at all a good man? Underneath the foul mouthed flamboyance is he in it for America? The second: Is he fully stable? He acts like a nut, calling people bimbos, flying off the handle with grievances. Is he mature, reliable? Is he at all a steady hand? Political professionals think these are side questions. “Let’s accuse him of not being conservative!” But they are the issue. Because America doesn’t deliberately elect people it thinks base, not to mention crazy. Peggy Noonan
The furor of ignored Europeans against their union is not just directed against rich and powerful government elites per se, or against the flood of mostly young male migrants from the war-torn Middle East. The rage also arises from the hypocrisy of a governing elite that never seems to be subject to the ramifications of its own top-down policies. The bureaucratic class that runs Europe from Brussels and Strasbourg too often lectures European voters on climate change, immigration, politically correct attitudes about diversity, and the constant need for more bureaucracy, more regulations, and more redistributive taxes. But Euro-managers are able to navigate around their own injunctions, enjoying private schools for their children; generous public pay, retirement packages and perks; frequent carbon-spewing jet travel; homes in non-diverse neighborhoods; and profitable revolving-door careers between government and business. The Western elite classes, both professedly liberal and conservative, square the circle of their privilege with politically correct sermonizing. They romanticize the distant “other” — usually immigrants and minorities — while condescendingly lecturing the middle and working classes, often the losers in globalization, about their lack of sensitivity. On this side of the Atlantic, President Obama has developed a curious habit of talking down to Americans about their supposedly reactionary opposition to rampant immigration, affirmative action, multiculturalism, and political correctness — most notably in his caricatures of the purported “clingers” of Pennsylvania. Yet Obama seems uncomfortable when confronted with the prospect of living out what he envisions for others. He prefers golfing with celebrities to bowling. He vacations in tony Martha’s Vineyard rather than returning home to his Chicago mansion. His travel entourage is royal and hardly green. And he insists on private prep schools for his children rather than enrolling them in the public schools of Washington, D.C., whose educators he so often shields from long-needed reform. In similar fashion, grandees such as Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg and Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos do not live what they profess. They often lecture supposedly less sophisticated Americans on their backward opposition to illegal immigration. But both live in communities segregated from those they champion in the abstract. The Clintons often pontificate about “fairness” but somehow managed to amass a personal fortune of more than $100 million by speaking to and lobbying banks, Wall Street profiteers, and foreign entities. The pay-to-play rich were willing to brush aside the insincere, pro forma social-justice talk of the Clintons and reward Hillary and Bill with obscene fees that would presumably result in lucrative government attention. Consider the recent Orlando tragedy for more of the same paradoxes. The terrorist killer, Omar Mateen — a registered Democrat, proud radical Muslim, and occasional patron of gay dating sites — murdered 49 people and wounded even more in a gay nightclub. His profile and motive certainly did not fit the elite narrative that unsophisticated right-wing American gun owners were responsible because of their support for gun rights. No matter. The Obama administration and much of the media refused to attribute the horror in Orlando to Mateen’s self-confessed radical Islamist agenda. Instead, they blamed the shooter’s semi-automatic .223 caliber rifle and a purported climate of hate toward gays. (…) In sum, elites ignored the likely causes of the Orlando shooting: the appeal of ISIS-generated hatred to some young, second-generation radical Muslim men living in Western societies, and the politically correct inability of Western authorities to short-circuit that clear-cut connection. Instead, the establishment all but blamed Middle America for supposedly being anti-gay and pro-gun. In both the U.S. and Britain, such politically correct hypocrisy is superimposed on highly regulated, highly taxed, and highly governmentalized economies that are becoming ossified and stagnant. The tax-paying middle classes, who lack the romance of the poor and the connections of the elite, have become convenient whipping boys of both in order to leverage more government social programs and to assuage the guilt of the elites who have no desire to live out their utopian theories in the flesh. Victor Davis Hanson
Barack Obama is the Dr. Frankenstein of the supposed Trump monster. If a charismatic, Ivy League-educated, landmark president who entered office with unprecedented goodwill and both houses of Congress on his side could manage to wreck the Democratic Party while turning off 52 percent of the country, then many voters feel that a billionaire New York dealmaker could hardly do worse. If Obama had ruled from the center, dealt with the debt, addressed radical Islamic terrorism, dropped the politically correct euphemisms and pushed tax and entitlement reform rather than Obamacare, Trump might have little traction. A boring Hillary Clinton and a staid Jeb Bush would most likely be replaying the 1992 election between Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush — with Trump as a watered-down version of third-party outsider Ross Perot. But America is in much worse shape than in 1992. And Obama has proved a far more divisive and incompetent president than George H.W. Bush. Little is more loathed by a majority of Americans than sanctimonious PC gobbledygook and its disciples in the media. And Trump claims to be PC’s symbolic antithesis. Making Machiavellian Mexico pay for a border fence or ejecting rude and interrupting Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from a press conference is no more absurd than allowing more than 300 sanctuary cities to ignore federal law by sheltering undocumented immigrants. Putting a hold on the immigration of Middle Eastern refugees is no more illiberal than welcoming into American communities tens of thousands of unvetted foreign nationals from terrorist-ridden Syria. In terms of messaging, is Trump’s crude bombast any more radical than Obama’s teleprompted scripts? Trump’s ridiculous view of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a sort of « Art of the Deal » geostrategic partner is no more silly than Obama insulting Putin as Russia gobbles up former Soviet republics with impunity. Obama callously dubbed his own grandmother a « typical white person, » introduced the nation to the racist and anti-Semitic rantings of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and petulantly wrote off small-town Pennsylvanians as near-Neanderthal « clingers. » Did Obama lower the bar for Trump’s disparagements? Certainly, Obama peddled a slogan, « hope and change, » that was as empty as Trump’s « make America great again. » (…) How does the establishment derail an out-of-control train for whom there are no gaffes, who has no fear of The New York Times, who offers no apologies for speaking what much of the country thinks — and who apparently needs neither money from Republicans nor politically correct approval from Democrats? Victor Davis Hanson
In 1978, the eminent sociologist William Julius Wilson argued confidently that class would soon displace race as the most important social variable in American life. As explicit legal barriers to minority advancement receded farther into the past, the fates of the working classes of different races would converge. By the mid 2000s, Wilson’s thesis looked pretty good: The black middle class was vibrant and growing as the average black wealth nearly doubled from 1995 to 2005. Race appeared to lose its salience as a political predictor: More and more blacks were voting Republican, reversing a decades-long trend, and in 2004 George W. Bush collected the highest share of the Latino (44 percent) vote of any Republican ever and a higher share of the Asian vote (43 percent) than he did in 2000. Our politics grew increasingly ideological and less racial: Progressives and the beneficiaries of a generous social-welfare state generally supported the Democratic party, while more prosperous voters were more likely to support Republicans. Stable majorities expressed satisfaction with the state of race relations. It wasn’t quite a post-racial politics, but it was certainly headed in that direction. But in the midst of the financial crisis of 2007, something happened. Both the white poor and the black poor began to struggle mightily, though for different reasons. And our politics changed dramatically in response. It’s ironic that the election of the first black president marked the end of our brief flirtation with a post-racial politics. By 2011, William Julius Wilson had published a slight revision of his earlier thesis, noting the continued importance of race. The black wealth of the 1990s, it turned out, was built on the mirage of house values. Inner-city murder rates, which had fallen for decades, began to tick upward in 2015. In one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent memory, a white supremacist murdered nine black people in a South Carolina church. And the ever-present antagonism between the police and black Americans — especially poor blacks whose neighborhoods are the most heavily policed — erupted into nationwide protests. Meanwhile, the white working class descended into an intense cultural malaise. Prescription-opioid abuse skyrocketed, and deaths from heroin overdoses clogged the obituaries of local papers. In the small, heavily white Ohio county where I grew up, overdoses overtook nature as the leading cause of death. A drug that for so long was associated with inner-city ghettos became the cultural inheritance of the southern and Appalachian white: White youths died from heroin significantly more often than their peers of other ethnicities. Incarceration and divorce rates increased steadily. Perhaps most strikingly, while the white working class continued to earn more than the working poor of other races, only 24 percent of white voters believed that the next generation would be “better off.” No other ethnic group expressed such alarming pessimism about its economic future. And even as each group struggled in its own way, common forces also influenced them. Rising automation in blue-collar industries deprived both groups of high-paying, low-skill jobs. Neighborhoods grew increasingly segregated — both by income and by race — ensuring that poor whites lived among poor whites while poor blacks lived among poor blacks. As a friend recently told me about San Francisco, Bull Connor himself couldn’t have designed a city with fewer black residents. Predictably, our politics began to match this new social reality. In 2012, Mitt Romney collected only 27 percent of the Latino vote. Asian Americans, a solid Republican constituency even in the days of Bob Dole, went for Obama by a three-to-one margin — a shocking demographic turn of events over two decades. Meanwhile, the black Republican became an endangered species. Republican failures to attract black voters fly in the face of Republican history. This was the party of Lincoln and Douglass. Eisenhower integrated the school in Little Rock at a time when the Dixiecrats were the defenders of the racial caste system.(…) For many progressives, the Sommers and Norton research confirms the worst stereotypes of American whites. Yet it also reflects, in some ways, the natural conclusions of an increasingly segregated white poor. (…) The reality is not that black Americans enjoy special privileges. In fact, the overwhelming weight of the evidence suggests that the opposite is true. Last month, for instance, the brilliant Harvard economist Roland Fryer published an exhaustive study of police uses of force. He found that even after controlling for crime rates and police presence in a given neighborhood, black youths were far likelier to be pushed, thrown to the ground, or harassed by police. (Notably, he also found no racial disparity in the use of lethal force.) (…) Getting whipped into a frenzy on conspiracy websites, or feeling that distant, faceless elites dislike you because of your white skin, doesn’t compare. But the great advantages of whiteness in America are invisible to the white poor, or are completely swallowed by the disadvantages of their class. The young man from West Virginia may be less likely to get questioned by Yale University police, but making it to Yale in the first place still requires a remarkable combination of luck and skill. In building a dialogue around “checking privilege,” the modern progressive elite is implicitly asking white America — especially the segregated white poor — for a level of social awareness unmatched in the history of the country. White failure to empathize with blacks is sometimes a failure of character, but it is increasingly a failure of geography and socialization. Poor whites in West Virginia don’t have the time or the inclination to read Harvard economics studies. And the privileges that matter — that is, the ones they see — are vanishing because of destitution: the privilege to pay for college without bankruptcy, the privilege to work a decent job, the privilege to put food on the table without the aid of food stamps, the privilege not to learn of yet another classmate’s premature death. (…) Because of this polarization, the racial conversation we’re having today is tribalistic. On one side are primarily white people, increasingly represented by the Republican party and the institutions of conservative media. On the other is a collection of different minority groups and a cosmopolitan — and usually wealthier — class of whites. These sides don’t even speak the same language: One side sees white privilege while the other sees anti-white racism. There is no room for agreement or even understanding. J. D. Vance
Est-ce le plus beau cadeau qu’Hillary Clinton ait fait à son adversaire ? En traitant “la moitié” des électeurs de Trump de “basket of deplorables”, Hillary a donné à l’équipe Trump un nouveau slogan de campagne : Les Deplorables (en français sur l’affiche avec le “e” sans accent, et aussi sur les t-shirts, sur les pots à café, dans la salle, etc.) ; avec depuis hier une affiche empruntée au formidable succès de scène de 2012 à Broadway Les Misérables (avec le “é” accentué, ou Les Mis’, tout cela en français sur l’affiche et sur la scène), et retouchée à la mesure-Trump (drapeau US à la place du drapeau français, bannière avec le nom de Trump). Grâce soit rendue à Hillary, le mot a une certaine noblesse et une signification à la fois, – étrangement, – précise et sophistiqué, dont le sens négatif peut aisément être retourné dans un contexte politique donné (le mot lui-même a, également en anglais, un sens négatif et un sens positif), surtout avec la référence au titre du livre de Hugo devenu si populaire aux USA depuis 2012…  L’équipe Trump reprend également la chanson-standard de la comédie musicale “Do You Hear the People Sing”, tout cela à partir d’une idée originale d’un partisan de Trump, un artiste-graphiste qui se désigne sous le nom de Keln : il a réalisé la composition graphique à partir de l’affiche des Misérables et l’a mise en ligne en espérant qu’elle serait utilisée par Trump. Depuis quelques jours déjà, les partisans de Trump se baptisent de plus en plus eux-mêmes Les Deplorables (comme l’on disait il y a 4-5 ans “les indignés”) et se reconnaissent entre eux grâce à ce mot devenu porte-drapeau et slogan et utilisé sur tous les produits habituels (“nous sommes tous des Deplorables”, comme d’autres disaient, dans le temps, “Nous sommes tous des juifs allemands”). De l’envolée de Clinton, – dont elle s’est excusée mais sans parvenir à contenir l’effet “déplorable” pour elle, ni l’effet-boomerang comme on commence à le mesurer, –nous écrivions ceci le 15 septembre : « L’expression (“panier” ou “paquet de déplorables”), qui qualifie à peu près une moitié des électeurs de Trump, est assez étrange, sinon arrogante et insultante, voire sophistiquée et devrait être très en vogue dans les salons progressistes et chez les milliardaires d’Hollywood ; elle s’accompagne bien entendu des autres qualificatifs classiques formant le minimum syndical de l’intellectuel-Système, dits explicitement par Hillary, de “racistes”, xénophobes”, et ajoutons comme sous-entendus “crétins absolus” ou bien “sous-hommes”, et ajoutons encore implicitement “irrécupérables” et de la sorte “à liquider” ou à envoyer en camp de rééducation ou plutôt à l’asile, comme l’éclairé Bacri conseille de faire avec Zemmour. » Récupéré par les électeurs de Trump eux-mêmes puis par l’équipe Trump, le slogan peu résonner comme un cri de révolte qui pourrait donner un formidable rythme et un atout considérable de communication à la campagne du candidat républicain. Philippe Grasset
In another eerie ditto of his infamous 2008 attack on the supposedly intolerant Pennsylvania “clingers,” Obama returned to his theme that ignorant Americans “typically” become xenophobic and racist: “Typically, when people feel stressed, they turn on others who don’t look like them.” (“Typically” is not a good Obama word to use in the context of racial relations, since he once dubbed his own grandmother a “typical white person.”) Too often Obama has gratuitously aroused racial animosities with inflammatory rhetoric such as “punish our enemies,” or injected himself into the middle of hot-button controversies like the Trayvon Martin case, the Henry Louis Gates melodrama, and the “hands up, don’t shoot” Ferguson mayhem. Most recently, Obama seemed to praise backup 49ers quarterback and multimillionaire Colin Kaepernick for his refusal to stand during the National Anthem, empathizing with Kaepernick’s claims of endemic American racism. (…) Even presidential nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not really defending the Obama administration’s past “red line” in Syria, the “reset” with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the bombing of Libya, the Benghazi tragedy, the euphemistic rebranding of Islamic terrorism as mere “violent extremism,” the abrupt pullout from (and subsequent collapse of) Iraq, or the Iran nuclear deal that so far seems to have made the theocracy both rich and emboldened. (…) Racial relations in this country seem as bad as they have been in a half-century. (…) Following the Clinton model, a post-presidential Obama will no doubt garner huge fees as a “citizen of the world” — squaring the circle of becoming fabulously rich while offering sharp criticism of the cultural landscape of the capitalist West on everything from sports controversies to pending criminal trials. What, then, is the presidential legacy of Barack Obama? It will not be found in either foreign- or domestic-policy accomplishment. More likely, he will be viewed as an outspoken progressive who left office loudly in the same manner that he entered it — as a critic of the culture and country in which he has thrived. But there may be another, unspoken legacy of Obama, and it is his creation of the candidacy of Donald J. Trump. Trump is running as an angry populist, fueled by the promise that whatever supposed elites such as Obama have done to the country, he will largely undo. Obama’s only legacy seems to be that “hope and change” begat “make America great again.” Victor Davis Hanson
Hillary Clinton’s comment that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic”—a heck of a lot of phobia for anyone to lug around all day—puts back in play what will be seen as one of the 2016 campaign’s defining forces: the revolt of the politically incorrect. They may not live at the level of Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables,” but it was only a matter of time before les déplorables—our own writhing mass of unheard Americans—rebelled against the intellectual elites’ ancien régime of political correctness. (…) Mrs. Clinton’s (…) dismissal, at Barbra Streisand’s LGBT fundraiser, of uncounted millions of Americans as deplorables had the ring of genuine belief. Perhaps sensing that public knowledge of what she really thinks could be a political liability, Mrs. Clinton went on to describe “people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them . . . and they’re just desperate for change.” She is of course describing the people in Charles Murray’s recent and compelling book on cultural disintegration among the working class, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.” This is indeed the bedrock of the broader Trump base. Mrs. Clinton is right that they feel the system has let them down. There is a legitimate argument over exactly when the rising digital economy started transferring income away from blue-collar workers and toward the “creative class” of Google and Facebook employees, no few of whom are smug progressives who think the landmass seen from business class between San Francisco and New York is pocked with deplorable, phobic Americans. Naturally, they’ll vote for the status quo, which is Hillary. But in the eight years available to Barack Obama to do something about what rankles the lower-middle class—white, black or brown—the non-employed and underemployed grew. A lot of them will vote for Donald Trump because they want a radical mid-course correction. (…) The progressive Democrats, a wholly public-sector party, have disconnected from the realities of the private economy, which exists as a mysterious revenue-producing abstraction. Hillary’s comments suggest they now see much of the population has a cultural and social abstraction. (…) Donald Trump’s appeal, in part, is that he cracks back at progressive cultural condescension in utterly crude terms. Nativists exist, and the sky is still blue. But the overwhelming majority of these people aren’t phobic about a modernizing America. They’re fed up with the relentless, moral superciliousness of Hillary, the Obamas, progressive pundits and 19-year-old campus activists. Evangelicals at last week’s Values Voter Summit said they’d look past Mr. Trump’s personal résumé. This is the reason. It’s not about him. The moral clarity that drove the original civil-rights movement or the women’s movement has degenerated into a confused moral narcissism. (…) It is a mistake, though, to blame Hillary alone for that derisive remark. It’s not just her. Hillary Clinton is the logical result of the Democratic Party’s new, progressive algorithm—a set of strict social rules that drives politics and the culture to one point of view. (…) Her supporters say it’s Donald Trump’s rhetoric that is “divisive.” Just so. But it’s rich to hear them claim that their words and politics are “inclusive.” So is the town dump. They have chopped American society into so many offendable identities that only a Yale freshman can name them all. If the Democrats lose behind Hillary Clinton, it will be in part because America’s les déplorables decided enough of this is enough. Bret Stephens
This year there’s a new name on our list of the Eight Greats: Israel. A small country in a chaotic part of the world, Israel is a rising power with a growing impact on world affairs. Although 2016 saw the passage of yet another condemnation of Israel at the United Nations, this time in the Security Council thanks to an American decision to abstain rather than veto, overall the Jewish state continues to develop diplomatic, economic and military power and to insert itself into the heart of regional politics. Three factors are powering Israel’s rise: economic developments, the regional crisis, and diplomatic ingenuity. Looking closely at these tells us something about how power works in the contemporary world. The economic developments behind Israel’s new stature are partly the result of luck and location, and partly the result of smart choices. As to the luck and location factor, large, off-shore discoveries of natural gas and oil are turning Israel into an energy exporter. Energy self-sufficiency is a boost to Israel’s economy; energy exports boost Israel’s foreign policy clout. In 2016 Erdogan’s Turkey turned on most of its NATO and Western allies; ties with Israel strengthened. Turkey’s Islamist ruler wants gas, and he wants to limit Turkey’s dependence on Russia. Israel is part of the answer. But beyond luck, Israel’s newfound clout on the world stage comes from the rise of industrial sectors and technologies that good Israeli schools, smart Israeli policies and talented Israeli thinkers and entrepreneurs have built up over many years. In particular, Israel’s decision to support the rise of a domestic cybersecurity and infotech economy has put Israel at the center of the ongoing revolution in military power based on the importance of information control and management to 21st century states. It is not just that private investors all over the world look to invest in Israel’s tech startups; access to Israeli technology (like the technology behind the Iron Dome missile system) matters to more and more countries. It’s not just America; India, China and Russia all want a piece of Israeli tech wizardry. Other, less glamorous Israeli industries, like the irrigation, desalinization and dry land farming tech that water poor Israel has developed over the decades play their part. Israel’s diplomatic outreach to Africa and its deepening (and increasingly public) relationship with India benefit from Israel’s ability to deliver what people in other countries and governments want. The second factor in Israel’s appearing on our list is the change in the Middle Eastern balance of power that has transformed Israel from a pariah state to a kingmaker. On the one hand, Syria, one of Israel’s most vociferous enemies and biggest security threats in the old days, has now been broken on the wheel. What has happened in Syria is a terrible human tragedy; but in the cold light of realpolitik the break up of Syria further entrenches Israel’s military supremacy in its immediate neighborhood. Egypt hates Hamas, ISIS and Islamic Jihad as much as Israel does; never has Egyptian-Israeli security cooperation been as close as it is today. Even more consequentially, the rise of Iran and its aspirations to regional hegemony on the one hand and the apparent support for its dreams from the Obama administration made Israel critical to the survival of the Sunni Arabs, including the Gulf states, who loathe Iran and fear a Shia victory in the religious conflict now raging across the Middle East. The Arab Establishment today has two frightening enemies: radical jihadi groups like ISIS on one side, and Iran on the other. Israel has a mix of intelligence and military capabilities that can help keep the regional balance stable; privately and even not so privately many prominent Arab officials today will say that Israeli support is necessary for the survival of Arab independence. Finally, Israel has managed, uncharacteristically, to advance its global political agenda through effective and even subtle diplomacy. Just as Israel was able to strengthen its relationship with Turkey even as Turkish-U.S. and Turkish EU relations grew distant, Israel has been able to build a realistic and fruitful relationship with Russia despite Russia’s standoff with the west over Ukraine, and Russia’s ties with Iran. The deepening Israel-India relationship has also required patience and skill. Israel’s diplomatic breakthroughs in relations with African countries who have been hostile to Israel since the 1967 war were also built through patient and subtle diplomacy, often working behind the scenes. That behind-the-scenes outreach diplomacy has also helped Israel achieve new levels of contact and collaboration with many Arab countries. It is not, of course, all sweetness and light. Hezbollah has tens of thousands of missiles aimed at Israel and, thanks to Iran’s victories in Syria, it can now enjoy much more reliable supplies from its patron. The Palestinian Question is as far from a solution as possible, and even as they fragment and squabble among themselves, the Palestinians continue to fight for Israel’s delegitimation in the UN and elsewhere. Israeli politics are as volatile and bitter as ever. The kaleidoscopic nature of Middle East politics means that today’s hero can be tomorrow’s goat. While the breakdown of regional order has so far been a net positive for Israel’s security and power, things could change fast. In ISIS coup in Saudi Arabia, the collapse of Jordan, the fall of the Sisi government in Egypt: it is not hard to come up with scenarios that would challenge Israel in new and dangerous ways. Former President Obama and his outgoing Secretary of State, John Kerry (neither widely regarded these days as a master of geopolitics), frequently warned Israel that its policies were leaving it isolated and vulnerable. This is to some degree true: European diplomats, American liberals and many American Jews are much less sympathetic to Israel today than they have been in the past. Future Israeli leaders may have to think hard about rebuilding links with American Democrats and American Jews. But for now at least, Israel can afford to ignore the dismal croaking of the outgoing American administration. One of a small handful of American allies to be assiduously courted by the Trump campaign, Israel begins 2017 as the keystone of a regional anti-Iran alliance, a most-favored-nation in the White House, and a country that enjoys good relations with all of the world’s major powers bar Iran. Teodor Herzl would be astonished to see what his dream has grown into; David Ben-Gurion would be astounded by the progress his poor and embattled nation has made.
We’re at a space shuttle moment. The most vulnerable time for the space shuttle is when it re-enters the environment, so that when it comes back into the environment it doesn’t blow up. The tiles need to be tight. I’m concerned about the tightness of the tiles on the space shuttle right now. We have to get through this heat. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
What happened the next night shocked even the most pessimistic Democrats. But in another sense, it was the reckoning the party had been expecting for years. They were counting on a Clinton win to paper over a deeper rot they’ve been worrying about—and to buy them some time to start coming up with answers. In other words, it wasn’t just Donald Trump. Or the Russians. Or James Comey. Or all the problems with how Clinton and her aides ran the campaign. Win or lose, Democrats were facing an existential crisis in the years ahead—the result of years of complacency, ignoring the withering of the grass roots and the state parties, sitting by as Republicans racked up local win after local win. (…) What’s clear from interviews with several dozen top Democratic politicians and operatives at all levels, however, is that there is no comeback strategy—just a collection of half-formed ideas, all of them challenged by reality. And for whatever scheme they come up with, Democrats don’t even have a flag-carrier. Barack Obama? He doesn’t want the job. Hillary Clinton? Too damaged. Bernie Sanders? Too socialist. Joe Biden? Too tied to Obama. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer? Too Washington. Elizabeth Warren? Maybe. And all of them old, old, old. The Democrats’ desolation is staggering. But part of the problem is that it’s easy to point to signs that maybe things aren’t so bad. After all, Clinton did beat Trump by 2.8 million votes, Obama’s approval rating is nearly 60 percent, polls show Democrats way ahead of the GOP on many issues and demographics suggest that gap will only grow. But they are stuck in the minority in Congress with no end in sight, have only 16 governors left and face 32 state legislatures fully under GOP control. Their top leaders in the House are all over 70. Their top leaders in the Senate are all over 60. Under Obama, Democrats have lost 1,034 seats at the state and federal level—there’s no bench, no bench for a bench, virtually no one able to speak for the party as a whole. (…) There are now fewer than 700 days until Election Day 2018, as internal memos circulating among Democratic strategists point out with alarm. They differ in their prescriptions, but all boil down to the same inconvenient truth: If Republicans dominate the 2018 midterms, they will control the Senate (and with it, the Supreme Court) for years, and they will draw district lines in states that will lock in majorities in the House and across state capitals, killing the next generation of Democrats in the crib, setting up the GOP for an even more dominant 2020 and beyond. Most doubt Democrats have the stamina or the stomach for the kind of cohesive resistance that Republicans perfected over the years. In their guts, they want to say yes to government doing things, and they’re already getting drawn in by promises to work with Trump and the Republican majorities. They’re heading into the next elections with their brains scrambled by Trump’s win, side-eyeing one another over who’s going to sell out the rest, nervous the incoming president will keep outmaneuvering them in the media and throw up more targets than they could ever hope to shoot at—and all of this from an election that was supposed to cement their claim on the future. (…) everyone from Obama on down is talking about going local, focusing on the kinds of small races and party-building activities Republicans have been dominating for cycle after cycle. But all that took decades, and Democrats have no time. What are they going to do next? There hasn’t been an American political party in worse shape in living memory. And there may never have been a party less ready to confront it. Politico
Are you scratching your head and wondering, Since when did liberals and the Left embrace a sunny, light-filled vision of the United States? If so, you’re not misremembering things. These are the same liberal elites who have been telling us for decades that America is shot through with an ever-expanding array of hatreds and injustice that disenfranchise large portions of the population and force them to live in fear. (…) These thoroughly representative members — and products — of the cultural elite are the same people who have given us “safe spaces” and “allyship” on college campuses, under the preposterous notion that any American college student who is not white, male, and heterosexual is “unsafe.” The Left has developed a typology of American students as victims, their allies, and their presumed oppressors. (…) The press, the campus-rape bureaucracy, and an army of federal regulators proclaim that terrified college co-eds are living through a rape tsunami, which can be eradicated only by campus kangaroo courts. So rapidly does American oppression metastasize into new forms, in the eyes of the Left, that the Left is constantly forced to coin a new vocabulary for it: microaggression, intersectionality, institutional racism, white privilege, cis privilege, implicit bias, etc. The media’s contempt for Trump’s use of the phrase “carnage” to describe the rising violence in the inner city is particularly ludicrous. The press has slavishly amplified the Black Lives Matter claim that we are living through an epidemic of racist police shootings of black men. A New York Times editorial from July 2016 was titled “When Will the Killing Stop?” That same month, President Barack Obama asserted that black mothers and fathers were right to fear that their child will be killed by a cop — remarkably, he made this claim during the memorial service for five Dallas police officers gunned down by a Black Lives Matter–inspired assassin. (…) So if Trump is so contemptibly misguided in his description of the rising street violence over the last two years as “carnage,” how does that criminal violence compare with the supposed epidemic of cop killings of black men? In 2015, the last year for which we have official national data, more than 6,000 black males, according to the FBI, were killed by criminals, themselves overwhelmingly black. That is 900 more black males killed in 2015 than in the year before, but the number of black victims was undoubtedly higher even than that, since an additional 2,000 homicide victims were reported to the FBI without a racial identity. Black males make up about half of the nation’s homicide victims, so they presumably make up a similar share of racially unclassified homicide victims. According to several uncontradicted non-governmental estimates, homicides continued rising throughout 2016, thanks to what I have called the “Ferguson effect”: officers backing off proactive policing in minority neighborhoods, under the relentless charge of racism, and the resulting increase in violent crime. The year 2016, therefore, probably also saw well over 6,000 black males murdered on the streets. By contrast, the nation’s police fatally shot 16 “unarmed” black males and 20 “unarmed” white males in 2016, according to the Washington Post’s database of police killings. I have put “unarmed” in quotes because the Post’s classification of “unarmed” victims rarely conveys the violence that the suspect directed at the shooting officer. But even when we take the “unarmed” classification at face value, those 16 fatal police shootings of unarmed black men represent no more than 0.2 percent of all black male lives lost to homicide in 2016. If police shootings of allegedly unarmed black males represent a national epidemic of bloodshed, then what should we call the gunning down of over 375 times that number of black men by criminals? “Carnage” seems like a pretty good descriptor. In Chicago alone in 2016, 24 children under the age of twelve, overwhelmingly black, were shot. Trump has regularly denounced inner-city violence; he promised in his inaugural that that violence “stops right here and stops right now.” He invoked the “child . . . born in the urban sprawl of Detroit” or in the “windswept plains of Nebraska” as both looking up “at the same night sky” and deserving of the same public safety. President Obama scoffed at Trump’s concern over rising urban violence even as he regularly accused the cops of lethally discriminating against blacks. For truth-telling when it comes to the actual dangers in American society, I’ll take the current president over the former one and the cultural milieu from which he emerged. Heather Mac Donald
Obama, franchement il fait partie des gens qui détestent l’Amérique. Il a servi son idéologie mais pas l’Amérique. Je remets en cause son patriotisme et sa dévotion à l’église qu’il fréquentait. Je pense qu’il était en désaccord avec lui-même sur beaucoup de choses. Je pense qu’il était plus musulman dans son cœur que chrétien. Il n’a pas voulu prononcer le terme d’islamisme radical, ça lui écorchait les lèvres. Je pense que dans son cœur, il est musulman, mais on en a terminé avec lui, Dieu merci. Evelyne Joslain
Il n’y a évidemment que des coups à prendre – et ils sont nombreux – lorsque l’on dénonce les discours alarmistes qui visent l’Amérique de Donald J. Trump.  Mais, contrairement aux chiens de garde de BFMTV, la Rédaction de Marianne ne « dégage » pas ceux qui font entendre une voix dissonante (un cas de « délit d’opinion » s’y est produit ces jours derniers), ce qui est tout à l’honneur de Delphine Legouté et Renaud Dely, en particulier, mais également de TSF Jazz et Radio Nova qui ont régulièrement donné la parole à l’auteur de ce blog qui existe depuis mars 2012. La démocratie à l’épreuve du verbe est tout ce que ceux qui se revendiquent du camp des « progressistes » redoutent. L’histoire n’est pas nouvelle. Ceux qui se paient de mots et veulent censurer les mots des autres n’ont rien de différents de ces gens qui se rendent le dimanche à la messe et sont, pour quelques un, des salauds hors les murs de l’église ou trop souvent, des intolérants, et de ces autres dont Montaigne disait qu’ils «envoyent leur conscience au bordel, et tiennent leur contenance en règle». Le tout, c’est de conserver un langage agréable à l’oreille, d’afficher des convictions à vous faire croire que certains humains naissent naturellement purs de tout instinct grisâtre et de toute idée injuste et surtout, de défendre la belle idée plutôt que l’action qui elle, comporte toujours sa part de risque et d’échec. Les centaines de milliers de personnes qui viennent de défiler, aux Etats-Unis et à travers le monde, pour crier leur opposition voire leur haine contre le 45ème président des Etats-Unis sont tout à fait en droit de revendiquer, mais que revendiquent-ils au juste ? Ils disent s’opposer à la violence, et la chanteuse Madonna porte leur voix en disant qu’elle a pensé à « faire exploser la Maison-Blanche ». Ils veulent la paix dans le monde et ne se sont pas lancés dans les rues pour demander à « leur » président, Barack Obama, de traiter la montée de l’Etat Islamique et l’effondrement de la société syrienne avec le sérieux nécessaire. Ils demandent le respect vis-à-vis des immigrants mais on ne les a vu nulle part pour s’opposer à la plus grande vague d’expulsions jamais organisée et qui a marqué les deux mandats de Barack Obama, sans compter le travail des fameuses brigades « ICE », en charge de la traque des illégaux. On ne les a jamais vus, non plus, le long des 1300 kilomètres de mur déjà construit à la frontière avec le Mexique. Ils n’ont pas organisé de « sittings » géants pour demander la fin des exécutions capitales ou la grâce de Snowden, Manning ou Bregham. Pire : les « millennials », ainsi que l’on appelle les plus jeunes, ou les Afro-Américains, ont boudé les urnes et ont fait défaut à la candidate démocrate Hillary Clinton le 8 novembre. Ce sont les mêmes qui scandent « Trump n’est pas mon président ». Les femmes ? Offusquées, scandalisées par les propos et les attitudes de Trump, oui, mais leur colère date t-elle de son apparition dans le paysage politique américain ? Et cette colère, dont on ne sait plus ni les contours ni les messages tant ils sont portés par une rage totale, quelle est sa finalité, quelle mesure, quel changement, au juste, peuvent l’apaiser ? On ne sait plus. (…) Comment expliquer tant de frustrations, de colères, de fureurs, au terme de huit années de pouvoir d’un homme aussi célébré que Barack Obama ? On lui impute soudain mille législations et actions positives, alors que l’on dénonçait, hier encore, l’obstruction systématique des Républicains – élus, soit dit en passant, lors des élections intermédiaires – à toutes ses entreprises. On s’attaque à un système électoral que personne ne change depuis sa mise en place et que l’on ne dénonce pas quand il profite à son camp. On annonce une guerre totale contre l’administration Trump lorsqu’hier, on s’en prenait au manque d’esprit bipartite du camp républicain. Tout cela est incohérent. Toute cette séquence, en réalité, est de pure rhétorique. Certes, dans nos pays européens, à l’exception de l’Angleterre, où l’expression publique est bornée par des lois visant à contenir certains outrages, Donald J. Trump se serait exposé à de nombreuses plaintes sinon condamnations. Mais quelle ironie que de voir les Américains, qui vénèrent la liberté d’expression totale et méprisent nos entraves à cette liberté, s’émouvoir soudain des débordements de M. Trump. Le puritanisme américain a encore de beaux jours devant lui. C’est le même qui préside au sentiment de bien faire, d’exporter la démocratie dans le monde, tout en pilotant des drones meurtriers ou en fabriquant de futurs terroristes dans des geôles à Guantanamo ou ailleurs : l’important, c’est de faire les choses avec une bonne intention, de ne pas en parler et d’avoir bonne conscience, bref, de garder son exquise politesse. C’est au nom de cet état d’esprit que l’Amérique – et le monde – célèbre toujours un John Fitzgerald-Kennedy quand bien-même ce dernier fut le premier président autorisant fin août 1961, le premier usage du Napalm sur les paysans vietnamiens. Ce n’est pas une affaire strictement américaine : la France et son Indochine, avec son discours sur la patrie des droits de l’Homme et ses Sangatte, n’a pas de leçon à donner aux Yankees. Tout comme l’époque est au ricanement, comme le dit fort justement Alain Finkielkraut, tout comme l’époque est au souriant antisémitisme ou la célébration de tout ce qui est jeune, femme ou de couleur dans le camp des prétendu « progressistes », elle l’est au déni. Désormais, chaque action, chaque signature du nouveau président américain fera résonner le monde de colère et de condamnation, et la politique américaine va se résumer à un vaste complot visant à l’abattre et avec lui, son administration. C’est cela, désormais, la démocratie, la lutte des gens « bien » contre les méchants et les imbéciles. Le problème, c’est que les gens bien se plaignent de tout ce qu’ils on fait et n’ont pas fait lorsqu’ils en avaient le pouvoir, pour le reprocher à ceux auxquels il a été confié. Une histoire de fou. Stéphane Trano 
La photo comparant la foule présente à l’investiture de Donald J. Trump vendredi dernier et celle de Barack Obama en 2009 a fait le tour des réseaux sociaux ce week-end. Des chaines de télévision et des journaux influents se sont également laissé emporter par cette vague. Donald Trump est le président le moins populaire depuis Jimmy Carter, il y a 40 ans. Selon un sondage du Washington Post et  de ABC News, le nouveau président aurait moins de 40% d’opinions favorables. Certes, il est impopulaire. Certes, son investiture a regroupé moins de personnes que ce à quoi l’on s’attendait. Est-ce une raison pour comparer son investiture à celle de l’ancien président démocrate, Barack Obama? Tout cela serait une affaire de démographie. Depuis bien longtemps, le District de Columbia ainsi que les états autour, tels que la Virginie, le Maryland, la Pennsylvanie, la Caroline du Nord, le Delaware, etc. sont des états démocrates. Lorsqu’un président démocrate est élu, il est plus facile pour ces personnes de rejoindre Washington, puisqu’ils se trouvent relativement près de la capitale, contrairement à certaines personnes vivant dans des états républicains, plus éloignés. Donald J. Trump a misé sa campagne présidentielle sur l’économie et l’immigration, cherchant le vote de la classe moyenne et des minorités. Cette population gagne entre 46 000 et 86 000 euros par an. Après avoir payé les dettes, les impôts, le loyer, les courses et autres dépenses de la vie quotidienne, il ne reste plus rien. (…) Cette population se bat pour vivre normalement, et pour avoir un salaire décent. Selon le ministère du travail et de l’emploi, 5% de la population, soit 18 millions d’américains, auraient entre deux et trois emplois pour pouvoir subvenir aux besoins de leurs familles. Ils ne sont pas tous républicains, mais pour les ceux qui souhaitent s’offrir un weekend dans la capitale pour assister à l’investiture d’un président républicain, cela coûte cher et parait hors de portée. (…) Contrairement, un président démocrate a déjà un bon nombre de ses électeurs vivant dans les états autour de Waghington DC et qui peuvent venir dans la capitale plus facilement. Donald J. Trump n’arrive pas au pouvoir avec une popularité à son plus haut, mais cela est-il la raison d’une foule moins nombreuse lors de son investiture? Lorsque George W. Bush est devenu le 43e président des États-Unis en 2001, seulement 300 000 personnes se sont montrées pour son investiture et son taux de popularité était de 62% selon le site internet de la Maison-Blanche. En janvier 2005, entre 100 000 et 400 000 personnes ont assisté à son investiture. Au final, ce n’est pas la première fois qu’une investiture républicaine attire moins de monde qu’une investiture démocrate.  George W. Bush était plus populaire que Trump lors de ses investitures, mais plus de monde a assisté à celle de Donald J. Trump. (…) Selon le comité d’investiture, 700 000 personnes se seraient regroupées sur le Mall, la sécurité intérieure quant-à elle, estime qu’entre 800 000 et 900 000 personnes auraient été présentes ce jour là. Comparer une investiture d’un president démocrate et celle d’un républicain n’est pas représentatif de la popularité du president élu. Cependant, Obama était tout de même plus populaire que Trump lors de son investiture avec 78% de popularité et presque 2 millions de personnes à son investiture en 2009. Clémentine Boyer Duroselle
Le génie Trump a vu que la classe politique était un tigre de papier et que le pays était en colère. En prenant la main sur un parti politique américain majeur en tant qu’outsider, il a fait quelque chose de jamais vu, et c’est lui qui devrait gagner. Conrad Black
After the election, in liberal, urban America, one often heard Trump’s win described as the revenge of the yahoos in flyover country, fueled by their angry “isms” and “ias”: racism, anti-Semitism, nativism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and so on. Many liberals consoled themselves that Trump’s victory was the last hurrah of bigoted, Republican white America, soon to be swept away by vast forces beyond its control, such as global migration and the cultural transformation of America into something far from the Founders’ vision. As insurance, though, furious progressives also renewed calls to abolish the Electoral College, advocating for a constitutional amendment that would turn presidential elections into national plebiscites. Direct presidential voting would shift power to heavily urbanized areas—why waste time trying to reach more dispersed voters in less populated rural states?—and thus institutionalize the greater economic and cultural clout of the metropolitan blue-chip universities, the big banks, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, New York–Washington media, and Hollywood, Democrat-voting all. Barack Obama’s two electoral victories deluded the Democrats into thinking that it was politically wise to jettison their old blue-collar appeal to the working classes, mostly living outside the cities these days, in favor of an identity politics of a new multicultural, urban America. Yet Trump’s success represented more than simply a triumph of rural whites over multiracial urbanites. More ominously for liberals, it also suggested that a growing minority of blacks and Hispanics might be sympathetic with a “country” mind-set that rejects urban progressive elitism. For some minorities, sincerity and directness might be preferable to sloganeering by wealthy white urban progressives, who often seem more worried about assuaging their own guilt than about genuinely understanding people of different colors. Trump’s election underscored two other liberal miscalculations. First, Obama’s progressive agenda and cultural elitism prevailed not because of their ideological merits, as liberals believed, but because of his great appeal to urban minorities in 2008 and 2012, who voted in solidarity for the youthful first African-American president in numbers never seen before. That fealty wasn’t automatically transferable to liberal white candidates, including the multimillionaire 69-year-old Hillary Clinton. Obama had previously lost most of America’s red counties, but not by enough to keep him from winning two presidential elections, with sizable urban populations in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania turning out to vote for the most left-wing presidential candidate since George McGovern. Second, rural America hadn’t fully raised its electoral head in anger in 2008 and 2012 because it didn’t see the Republican antidotes to Obama’s progressive internationalism as much better than the original malady. Socially moderate establishmentarians like the open-borders-supporting John McCain or wealthy businessman Mitt Romney didn’t resonate with the spirit of rural America—at least not enough to persuade millions to come to the polls instead of sitting the elections out. Trump connected with these rural voters with far greater success than liberals anticipated. Urban minorities failed in 2016 to vote en bloc, in their Obama-level numbers; and rural Americans, enthused by Trump, increased their turnout, so that even a shrinking American countryside still had enough clout to win. What is insufficiently understood is why a hurting rural America favored the urban, superrich Trump in 2016 and, more generally, tends to vote more conservative than liberal. Ostensibly, the answer is clear: an embittered red-state America has found itself left behind by elite-driven globalization, battered by unfettered trade and high-tech dislocations in the economy. In some of the most despairing counties, rural life has become a mirror image of the inner city, ravaged by drug use, criminality, and hopelessness. Yet if muscular work has seen a decline in its relative monetary worth, it has not necessarily lost its importance. After all, the elite in Washington and Menlo Park appreciate the fresh grapes and arugula that they purchase at Whole Foods. Someone mined the granite used in their expensive kitchen counters and cut the timber for their hardwood floors. The fuel in their hybrid cars continues to come from refined oil. The city remains as dependent on this elemental stuff—typically produced outside the suburbs and cities—as it always was. The two Palo Altoans at Starbucks might have forgotten that their overpriced homes included two-by-fours, circuit breakers, and four-inch sewer pipes, but somebody somewhere made those things and brought them into their world. In the twenty-first century, though, the exploitation of natural resources and the manufacturing of products are more easily outsourced than are the arts of finance, insurance, investments, higher education, entertainment, popular culture, and high technology, immaterial sectors typically pursued within metropolitan contexts and supercharged by the demands of increasingly affluent global consumers. A vast government sector, mostly urban, is likewise largely impervious to the leveling effects of a globalized economy, even as its exorbitant cost and extended regulatory reach make the outsourcing of material production more likely. Asian steel may have devastated Youngstown, but Chinese dumping had no immediate effect on the flourishing government enclaves in Washington, Maryland, and Virginia, filled with well-paid knowledge workers. Globalization, big government, and metastasizing regulations have enriched the American coasts, in other words, while damaging much of the nation’s interior. Few major political leaders before Trump seemed to care. He hammered home the point that elites rarely experienced the negative consequences of their own ideologies. New York Times columnists celebrating a “flat” world have yet to find themselves flattened by Chinese writers willing to write for a fraction of their per-word rate. Tenured Harvard professors hymning praise to global progressive culture don’t suddenly discover their positions drawn and quartered into four part-time lecturer positions. And senators and bureaucrats in Washington face no risk of having their roles usurped by low-wage Vietnamese politicians. Trump quickly discovered that millions of Americans were irate that the costs and benefits of our new economic reality were so unevenly distributed. As the nation became more urban and its wealth soared, the old Democratic commitment from the Roosevelt era to much of rural America—construction of water projects, rail, highways, land banks, and universities; deference to traditional values; and Grapes of Wrath–like empathy—has largely been forgotten. A confident, upbeat urban America promoted its ever more radical culture without worrying much about its effects on a mostly distant and silent small-town other. In 2008, gay marriage and women in combat were opposed, at least rhetorically, by both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in their respective presidential campaigns. By 2016, mere skepticism on these issues was viewed by urban elites as reactionary ignorance. In other words, it was bad enough that rural America was getting left behind economically; adding insult to injury, elite America (which is Democrat America) openly caricatured rural citizens’ traditional views and tried to force its own values on them. Lena Dunham’s loud sexual politics and Beyoncé’s uncritical evocation of the Black Panthers resonated in blue cities and on the coasts, not in the heartland. Only in today’s bifurcated America could billion-dollar sports conglomerates fail to sense that second-string San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests of the national anthem would turn off a sizable percentage of the National Football League’s viewing audience, which is disproportionately conservative and middle American. These cultural themes, too, Trump addressed forcefully. In classical literature, patriotism and civic militarism were always closely linked with farming and country life. In the twenty-first century, this is still true. The incubator of the U.S. officer corps is red-state America. “Make America Great Again” reverberated in the pro-military countryside because it emphasized an exceptionalism at odds with the Left’s embrace of global values. Residents in Indiana and Wisconsin were unimpressed with the Democrats’ growing embrace of European-style “soft power,” socialism, and statism—all the more so in an age of European constitutional, financial, and immigration sclerosis. Trump’s slogan unabashedly expressed American individualism; Clinton’s “Stronger Together” gave off a whiff of European socialist solidarity. Trump, the billionaire Manhattanite wheeler-dealer, made an unlikely agrarian, true; but he came across during his presidential run as a clear advocate of old-style material jobs, praising vocational training and clearly enjoying his encounters with middle-American homemakers, welders, and carpenters. Trump talked more on the campaign about those who built his hotels than those who financed them. He could point to the fact that he made stuff, unlike Clinton, who got rich without any obvious profession other than leveraging her office. Give the thrice-married, orange-tanned, and dyed-haired Trump credit for his political savvy in promising to restore to the dispossessed of the Rust Belt their old jobs and to give back to farmers their diverted irrigation water, and for assuring small towns that arriving new Americans henceforth would be legal—and that, over time, they would become similar to their hosts in language, custom, and behavior. Ironically, part of Trump’s attraction for red-state America was his posture as a coastal-elite insider—but now enlisted on the side of the rustics. A guy who had built hotels all over the world, and understood how much money was made and lost through foreign investment, offered to put such expertise in the service of the heartland—against the supposed currency devaluers, trade cheats, and freeloaders of Europe, China, and Japan. Trump’s appeal to the interior had partly to do with his politically incorrect forthrightness. Each time Trump supposedly blundered in attacking a sacred cow—sloppily deprecating national hero John McCain’s wartime captivity or nastily attacking Fox superstar Megyn Kelly for her supposed unfairness—the coastal media wrote him off as a vulgar loser. Not Trump’s base. Seventy-five percent of his supporters polled that his crude pronouncements didn’t bother them. As one grape farmer told me after the Access Hollywood hot-mike recordings of Trump making sexually vulgar remarks had come to light, “Who cares? I’d take Trump on his worst day better than Hillary on her best.” Apparently red-state America was so sick of empty word-mongering that it appreciated Trump’s candor, even when it was sometimes inaccurate, crude, or cruel. Outside California and New York City and other elite blue areas, for example, foreigners who sneak into the country and reside here illegally are still “illegal aliens,” not “undocumented migrants,” a blue-state term that masks the truth of their actions. Trump’s Queens accent and frequent use of superlatives—“tremendous,” “fantastic,” “awesome”—weren’t viewed by red-state America as a sign of an impoverished vocabulary but proof that a few blunt words can capture reality. To the rural mind, verbal gymnastics reveal dishonest politicians, biased journalists, and conniving bureaucrats, who must hide what they really do and who they really are. Think of the arrogant condescension of Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the disastrous Obamacare law, who admitted that the bill was written deliberately in a “tortured way” to mislead the “stupid” American voter. To paraphrase Cicero on his preference for the direct Plato over the obscure Pythagoreans, rural Americans would have preferred to be wrong with the blunt-talking Trump than to be right with the mush-mouthed Hillary Clinton. One reason that Trump may have outperformed both McCain and Romney with minority voters was that they appreciated how much the way he spoke rankled condescending white urban liberals. Poorer, less cosmopolitan, rural people can also experience a sense of inferiority when they venture into the city, unlike smug urbanites visiting red-state America. The rural folk expect to be seen as deplorables, irredeemables, and clingers by city folk. My countryside neighbors do not wish to hear anything about Stanford University, where I work—except if by chance I note that Stanford people tend to be condescending and pompous, confirming my neighbors’ suspicions about city dwellers. And just as the urban poor have always had their tribunes, so, too, have rural residents flocked to an Andrew Jackson or a William Jennings Bryan, politicians who enjoyed getting back at the urban classes for perceived slights. The more Trump drew the hatred of PBS, NPR, ABC, NBC, CBS, the elite press, the universities, the foundations, and Hollywood, the more he triumphed in red-state America. Indeed, one irony of the 2016 election is that identity politics became a lethal boomerang for progressives. After years of seeing America reduced to a binary universe, with culpable white Christian males encircled by ascendant noble minorities, gays, feminists, and atheists—usually led by courageous white-male progressive crusaders—red-state America decided that two could play the identity-politics game. In 2016, rural folk did silently in the voting booth what urban America had done to them so publicly in countless sitcoms, movies, and political campaigns. In sum, Donald Trump captured the twenty-first-century malaise of a rural America left behind by globalized coastal elites and largely ignored by the establishments of both political parties. Central to Trump’s electoral success, too, were age-old rural habits and values that tend to make the interior broadly conservative. That a New York billionaire almost alone grasped how red-state America truly thought, talked, and acted, and adjusted his message and style accordingly, will remain one of the astonishing ironies of American political history. Victor Davis Hanson

 

Attention: un idiot du village peut en cacher un autre !

En ce lendemain d’une investiture

Qui ressemble de plus en plus à une gueule de bois pour une gauche aussi mauvaise perdante qu’imbue d’elle-même …

Qui n’a de cesse, comme elle l’avait fait pour Reagan ou Bush, de moquer le prétendu idiot du village

Au moment même où commence à apparaitre au grand jour le bilan proprement catastrophique, pour son pays comme pour son propre parti, de son soi-disant brillant prédecesseur …

Et où un petit Etat sur lequel l’Administration Obama avait jusqu’à son dernier souffle tant craché fait son entrée dans le monde très select des huit plus grandes puissances de la planète …

Comment ne pas voir avec l’historien militaire américain Victor Davis Hanson et l’un des rares analystes à l’avoir perçue …

La revanche de ces bouseux que ces derniers avaient si longtemps méprisée ?

Mais aussi avec l’homme d’affaires britannique Conrad Black …

Le véritable génie de leur improbable multi-milliardaire et hédoniste new-yorkais de champion  …

Quasiment seul contre l’establishment des médias, de l’université ou du monde du spectacle ou même de son propre parti à l’avoir reconnue ?

Trump and the American Divide

How a lifelong New Yorker became tribune of the rustics and deplorables

Victor Davis Hanson
City Journal

Winter 2017

At 7 AM in California’s rural Central Valley, not long before the recent presidential election, I stopped to talk with an elderly irrigator on the shared border alleyway of my farm. His face was a wrinkled latticework, his false teeth yellow. His truck smelled of cigarettes, its cab overflowing with flotsam and jetsam: butts, scribbled notes, drip-irrigation parts, and empty soda cans. He rolled down the window and muttered something about the plunging water-table level and whether a weak front would bring any rain. And then, this dinosaur put one finger up on the wheel as a salutation and drove off in a dust cloud.

Five hours later, and just 180 miles distant, I bought a coffee at a Starbucks on University Avenue in Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley, the spawn of Stanford University. Two young men sat at the table next to me, tight “high-water” pants rising above their ankles, coat cuffs drawn up their forearms, and shirts buttoned all the way to the top, in retro-nerd style. Their voices were nasal, their conversation rapid-fire— politics, cars, houses, vacations, fashion, and restaurants all came up. They were speaking English, but of a very different kind from the irrigator’s, accentuating a sense of being on the move and upbeat about the booming reality surrounding them.

I hadn’t just left one part of America to visit another, it seemed, but instead blasted off from one solar system to enter another cosmos, light-years distant. And to make the contrast even more radical, the man in the truck in Fresno County was Mexican-American and said that he was voting for Trump, while the two in Palo Alto were white, clearly affluent—and seemed enthused about Hillary Clinton’s sure win to come.

The postelection map of Republican and Democratic counties mirrored my geographical disconnect. The Donald Trump nation of conservative red spanned the country, to within a few miles of the two coasts, covering 85 percent of the nation’s land area. Yet Clinton won the popular vote, drawing most of her support in razor-thin, densely populated blue ribbons up and down the East and West Coast corridors and in the Great Lakes nexus. As disgruntled liberal commentator Henry Grabar summed up the election result: “We now have a rural party and an urban party. The rural party won.” This time around, anyway.

The urban party has been getting beat up a lot, even before Trump’s surprising victory. Not only have the Democrats surrendered Congress; they now control just 13 state legislatures and 15 governorships—far below where they were pre–Barack Obama. Over the past decade, more than 1,000 elected Democratic state lawmakers have lost their jobs, with most of the hemorrhaging taking place outside the cities. As political analyst Ron Brownstein puts it, “Of all the overlapping generational, racial, and educational divides that explained Trump’s stunning upset over Hillary Clinton . . . none proved more powerful than the distance between the Democrats’ continued dominance of the largest metropolitan areas, and the stampede toward the GOP almost everywhere else.”

“Everywhere else” basically means anywhere but the two coasts. After the election, in liberal, urban America, one often heard Trump’s win described as the revenge of the yahoos in flyover country, fueled by their angry “isms” and “ias”: racism, anti-Semitism, nativism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and so on. Many liberals consoled themselves that Trump’s victory was the last hurrah of bigoted, Republican white America, soon to be swept away by vast forces beyond its control, such as global migration and the cultural transformation of America into something far from the Founders’ vision.

As insurance, though, furious progressives also renewed calls to abolish the Electoral College, advocating for a constitutional amendment that would turn presidential elections into national plebiscites. Direct presidential voting would shift power to heavily urbanized areas—why waste time trying to reach more dispersed voters in less populated rural states?—and thus institutionalize the greater economic and cultural clout of the metropolitan blue-chip universities, the big banks, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, New York–Washington media, and Hollywood, Democrat-voting all.

Barack Obama’s two electoral victories deluded the Democrats into thinking that it was politically wise to jettison their old blue-collar appeal to the working classes, mostly living outside the cities these days, in favor of an identity politics of a new multicultural, urban America. Yet Trump’s success represented more than simply a triumph of rural whites over multiracial urbanites. More ominously for liberals, it also suggested that a growing minority of blacks and Hispanics might be sympathetic with a “country” mind-set that rejects urban progressive elitism. For some minorities, sincerity and directness might be preferable to sloganeering by wealthy white urban progressives, who often seem more worried about assuaging their own guilt than about genuinely understanding people of different colors.

Trump’s election underscored two other liberal miscalculations. First, Obama’s progressive agenda and cultural elitism prevailed not because of their ideological merits, as liberals believed, but because of his great appeal to urban minorities in 2008 and 2012, who voted in solidarity for the youthful first African-American president in numbers never seen before. That fealty wasn’t automatically transferable to liberal white candidates, including the multimillionaire 69-year-old Hillary Clinton. Obama had previously lost most of America’s red counties, but not by enough to keep him from winning two presidential elections, with sizable urban populations in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania turning out to vote for the most left-wing presidential candidate since George McGovern.

The city remains as dependent on elemental stuff—typically produced outside the suburbs and cities—as ever

Second, rural America hadn’t fully raised its electoral head in anger in 2008 and 2012 because it didn’t see the Republican antidotes to Obama’s progressive internationalism as much better than the original malady. Socially moderate establishmentarians like the open-borders-supporting John McCain or wealthy businessman Mitt Romney didn’t resonate with the spirit of rural America—at least not enough to persuade millions to come to the polls instead of sitting the elections out. Trump connected with these rural voters with far greater success than liberals anticipated. Urban minorities failed in 2016 to vote en bloc, in their Obama-level numbers; and rural Americans, enthused by Trump, increased their turnout, so that even a shrinking American countryside still had enough clout to win.

What is insufficiently understood is why a hurting rural America favored the urban, superrich Trump in 2016 and, more generally, tends to vote more conservative than liberal. Ostensibly, the answer is clear: an embittered red-state America has found itself left behind by elite-driven globalization, battered by unfettered trade and high-tech dislocations in the economy. In some of the most despairing counties, rural life has become a mirror image of the inner city, ravaged by drug use, criminality, and hopelessness.

Yet if muscular work has seen a decline in its relative monetary worth, it has not necessarily lost its importance. After all, the elite in Washington and Menlo Park appreciate the fresh grapes and arugula that they purchase at Whole Foods. Someone mined the granite used in their expensive kitchen counters and cut the timber for their hardwood floors. The fuel in their hybrid cars continues to come from refined oil. The city remains as dependent on this elemental stuff—typically produced outside the suburbs and cities—as it always was. The two Palo Altoans at Starbucks might have forgotten that their overpriced homes included two-by-fours, circuit breakers, and four-inch sewer pipes, but somebody somewhere made those things and brought them into their world.

In the twenty-first century, though, the exploitation of natural resources and the manufacturing of products are more easily outsourced than are the arts of finance, insurance, investments, higher education, entertainment, popular culture, and high technology, immaterial sectors typically pursued within metropolitan contexts and supercharged by the demands of increasingly affluent global consumers. A vast government sector, mostly urban, is likewise largely impervious to the leveling effects of a globalized economy, even as its exorbitant cost and extended regulatory reach make the outsourcing of material production more likely. Asian steel may have devastated Youngstown, but Chinese dumping had no immediate effect on the flourishing government enclaves in Washington, Maryland, and Virginia, filled with well-paid knowledge workers. Globalization, big government, and metastasizing regulations have enriched the American coasts, in other words, while damaging much of the nation’s interior.

Few major political leaders before Trump seemed to care. He hammered home the point that elites rarely experienced the negative consequences of their own ideologies. New York Times columnists celebrating a “flat” world have yet to find themselves flattened by Chinese writers willing to write for a fraction of their per-word rate. Tenured Harvard professors hymning praise to global progressive culture don’t suddenly discover their positions drawn and quartered into four part-time lecturer positions. And senators and bureaucrats in Washington face no risk of having their roles usurped by low-wage Vietnamese politicians. Trump quickly discovered that millions of Americans were irate that the costs and benefits of our new economic reality were so unevenly distributed.

As the nation became more urban and its wealth soared, the old Democratic commitment from the Roosevelt era to much of rural America—construction of water projects, rail, highways, land banks, and universities; deference to traditional values; and Grapes of Wrath–like empathy—has largely been forgotten. A confident, upbeat urban America promoted its ever more radical culture without worrying much about its effects on a mostly distant and silent small-town other. In 2008, gay marriage and women in combat were opposed, at least rhetorically, by both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in their respective presidential campaigns. By 2016, mere skepticism on these issues was viewed by urban elites as reactionary ignorance. In other words, it was bad enough that rural America was getting left behind economically; adding insult to injury, elite America (which is Democrat America) openly caricatured rural citizens’ traditional views and tried to force its own values on them. Lena Dunham’s loud sexual politics and Beyoncé’s uncritical evocation of the Black Panthers resonated in blue cities and on the coasts, not in the heartland. Only in today’s bifurcated America could billion-dollar sports conglomerates fail to sense that second-string San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests of the national anthem would turn off a sizable percentage of the National Football League’s viewing audience, which is disproportionately conservative and middle American. These cultural themes, too, Trump addressed forcefully.

Is there something about the land itself that promotes conservatism? The answer is as old as Western civilization. For the classical Greeks, the asteios (“astute”; astu: city) was the sophisticated “city-like” man, while the agroikos (“agrarian”; agros: farm/field) was synonymous with roughness. And yet there was ambiguity as well in the Greek city/country dichotomy: city folk were also laughed at in the comedies of Aristophanes as too impractical and too clever for their own good, while the unpolished often displayed a more grounded sensibility. In the Roman world, the urbanus (“urbane”; urbs: city) was sometimes too sophisticated, while the rusticus (“rustic”; rus: countryside) was often balanced and pragmatic.

Country people in the Western tradition lived in a shame culture. Family reputation hinged on close-knit assessments of personal behavior only possible in small communities of the like-minded and tribal. The rural ethos could not afford radical changes in lifestyles when the narrow margins of farming safety rested on what had worked in the past. By contrast, self-reinvention and social experimentation were possible only in large cities of anonymous souls and varieties of income and enrichment. Rural people, that is, don’t honor tradition and habit because they’re somehow better human beings than their urban counterparts; a face-to-face, rooted society offers practical reinforcement for doing so.

In classical literature, patriotism and civic militarism were always closely linked with farming and country life. In the twenty-first century, this is still true. The incubator of the U.S. officer corps is red-state America. “Make America Great Again” reverberated in the pro-military countryside because it emphasized an exceptionalism at odds with the Left’s embrace of global values. Residents in Indiana and Wisconsin were unimpressed with the Democrats’ growing embrace of European-style “soft power,” socialism, and statism—all the more so in an age of European constitutional, financial, and immigration sclerosis. Trump’s slogan unabashedly expressed American individualism; Clinton’s “Stronger Together” gave off a whiff of European socialist solidarity.

Farming, animal husbandry, mining, logging—these traditional bodily tasks were often praised in the past as epitomes of the proper balance between physical and mental, nature and culture, fact and theory. In classical pastoral and Georgic poetry, the city-bound often romanticized the countryside, even if, on arrival, they found the flies and dirt of Arcadia bothersome. Theocritus and Virgil reflected that, in the trade-offs imposed by transforming classical societies, the earthiness lost by city dwellers was more grievous to their souls than the absence of erudition and sophistication was to the souls of simpler farmers and shepherds.

Trump, the billionaire Manhattanite wheeler-dealer, made an unlikely agrarian, true; but he came across during his presidential run as a clear advocate of old-style material jobs, praising vocational training and clearly enjoying his encounters with middle-American homemakers, welders, and carpenters. Trump talked more on the campaign about those who built his hotels than those who financed them. He could point to the fact that he made stuff, unlike Clinton, who got rich without any obvious profession other than leveraging her office.

Give the thrice-married, orange-tanned, and dyed-haired Trump credit for his political savvy in promising to restore to the dispossessed of the Rust Belt their old jobs and to give back to farmers their diverted irrigation water, and for assuring small towns that arriving new Americans henceforth would be legal—and that, over time, they would become similar to their hosts in language, custom, and behavior.

Changes come more slowly to rural interior areas, given that the sea, the historical importer of strange people and weird ideas, is far away. Maritime Athens was liberal, democratic, and cosmopolitan; its antithesis, landlocked Sparta, was oligarchic, provincial, and tradition-bound. In the same way, rural upstate New York isn’t Manhattan, and Provo isn’t Portland. Rural people rarely meet—and tend not to wish to meet—the traders, foreigners, and importers who arrive at ports with their foreign money and exotic customs.

The “Old Oligarch”—a name given to the author of a treatise by an anonymous right-wing grouch of fifth-century BC Athens—described the subversive hustle and the cornucopia of imported goods evident every day at the port of Piraeus. If one wished to destroy the purity of rural, conservative society, his odd rant went, then the Athens of Pericles would be just about the best model to follow. Ironically, part of Trump’s attraction for red-state America was his posture as a coastal-elite insider—but now enlisted on the side of the rustics. A guy who had built hotels all over the world, and understood how much money was made and lost through foreign investment, offered to put such expertise in the service of the heartland—against the supposed currency devaluers, trade cheats, and freeloaders of Europe, China, and Japan.

Language is also different in the countryside. Rural speech serves, by its very brevity and directness, as an enhancement to action. Verbosity and rhetoric, associated with urbanites, were always rural targets in classical literature, precisely because they were seen as ways to disguise reality so as to advance impractical or subversive political agendas. Thucydides, nearly 2,500 years before George Orwell’s warnings about linguistic distortion, feared how, in times of strife, words changed their meanings, with the more polished and urbane subverting the truth by masking it in rhetoric that didn’t reflect reality. In the countryside, by contrast, crops either grow or wither; olive trees either yield or remain barren; rain either arrives or is scarce. Words can’t change these existential facts, upon which living even one more day often depends. For the rural mind, language must convey what is seen and heard; it is less likely to indulge adornment.

Today’s rural-minded Americans are little different. Trump’s appeal to the interior had partly to do with his politically incorrect forthrightness. Each time Trump supposedly blundered in attacking a sacred cow—sloppily deprecating national hero John McCain’s wartime captivity or nastily attacking Fox superstar Megyn Kelly for her supposed unfairness—the coastal media wrote him off as a vulgar loser. Not Trump’s base. Seventy-five percent of his supporters polled that his crude pronouncements didn’t bother them. As one grape farmer told me after the Access Hollywood hot-mike recordings of Trump making sexually vulgar remarks had come to light, “Who cares? I’d take Trump on his worst day better than Hillary on her best.” Apparently red-state America was so sick of empty word-mongering that it appreciated Trump’s candor, even when it was sometimes inaccurate, crude, or cruel. Outside California and New York City and other elite blue areas, for example, foreigners who sneak into the country and reside here illegally are still “illegal aliens,” not “undocumented migrants,” a blue-state term that masks the truth of their actions. Trump’s Queens accent and frequent use of superlatives—“tremendous,” “fantastic,” “awesome”—weren’t viewed by red-state America as a sign of an impoverished vocabulary but proof that a few blunt words can capture reality.

To the rural mind, verbal gymnastics reveal dishonest politicians, biased journalists, and conniving bureaucrats, who must hide what they really do and who they really are. Think of the arrogant condescension of Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the disastrous Obamacare law, who admitted that the bill was written deliberately in a “tortured way” to mislead the “stupid” American voter. To paraphrase Cicero on his preference for the direct Plato over the obscure Pythagoreans, rural Americans would have preferred to be wrong with the blunt-talking Trump than to be right with the mush-mouthed Hillary Clinton. One reason that Trump may have outperformed both McCain and Romney with minority voters was that they appreciated how much the way he spoke rankled condescending white urban liberals.

Poorer, less cosmopolitan, rural people can also experience a sense of inferiority when they venture into the city, unlike smug urbanites visiting red-state America. The rural folk expect to be seen as deplorables, irredeemables, and clingers by city folk. My countryside neighbors do not wish to hear anything about Stanford University, where I work—except if by chance I note that Stanford people tend to be condescending and pompous, confirming my neighbors’ suspicions about city dwellers. And just as the urban poor have always had their tribunes, so, too, have rural residents flocked to an Andrew Jackson or a William Jennings Bryan, politicians who enjoyed getting back at the urban classes for perceived slights. The more Trump drew the hatred of PBS, NPR, ABC, NBC, CBS, the elite press, the universities, the foundations, and Hollywood, the more he triumphed in red-state America.

Indeed, one irony of the 2016 election is that identity politics became a lethal boomerang for progressives. After years of seeing America reduced to a binary universe, with culpable white Christian males encircled by ascendant noble minorities, gays, feminists, and atheists—usually led by courageous white-male progressive crusaders—red-state America decided that two could play the identity-politics game. In 2016, rural folk did silently in the voting booth what urban America had done to them so publicly in countless sitcoms, movies, and political campaigns.

In sum, Donald Trump captured the twenty-first-century malaise of a rural America left behind by globalized coastal elites and largely ignored by the establishments of both political parties. Central to Trump’s electoral success, too, were age-old rural habits and values that tend to make the interior broadly conservative. That a New York billionaire almost alone grasped how red-state America truly thought, talked, and acted, and adjusted his message and style accordingly, will remain one of the astonishing ironies of American political history.

Voir aussi:

He grasped that what voters cared about were the very issues politicos were disdainfully ignoring.

Victor Davis Hanson

National review
December 20, 2016

The American middle classes, the Chinese, and Vladimir Putin have never been convinced that Ivy League degrees, vast Washington experience, and cultural sophistication necessarily translate into national wisdom. Trump instead relies more on instinct and operates from cunning — and we will soon see whether we should redefine “wisdom.” But for now, for example, we have never heard a presidential candidate say such a thing as “We love our miners” — not “we like” miners, but “we love” them. And not just any miners, but “our” miners, as if, like “our vets,” the working people of our moribund economic regions were unique and exceptional people, neither clingers nor irredeemables. In Trump’s gut formulation, miners certainly did not deserve “to be put out of business” by Hillary Clinton, as if they were little more than the necessary casualties of the war against global warming. For Trump, miners were not the human equivalent of the 4,200 bald eagles that the Obama administration recently assured the wind turbine industry can be shredded for the greater good of alternate energy and green profiteering. In other words, Trump instinctively saw the miners of West Virginia — and by extension the working-class populations of states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio — as emblematic of the forgotten man, in a way few of his Republican rivals, much less Hilary Clinton, grasped. No other candidate talked as constantly about jobs, “fair” trade, illegal immigration, and political correctness — dead issues to most other pollsters and politicos. Rivals, Democratic and Republican alike, had bought into the electoral matrix of Barack Obama: slicing the electorate into identity-politics groups and arousing them to register and vote in record numbers against “them” — a fossilized, supposedly crude, illiberal, and soon-to-be-displaced white working class. For Democrats that meant transferring intact Obama’s record numbers of minority voters to a 68-year-old multimillionaire white woman; for Republicans, it meant pandering with a kinder, softer but still divisive identity-politics message. Trump instinctively saw a different demographic. And even among minority groups, he detected a rising distaste for being patronized, especially by white, nasal-droning, elite pajama-boy nerds whose loud progressivism did not disguise their grating condescension. Trump Dismissed as a Joke Yet even after destroying the Clinton Dynasty, the Bush-family aristocracy, the Obama legacy, and 16 more-seasoned primary rivals, Trump was dismissed by observers as being mostly a joke, idiotic and reckless. Such a dismissal is a serious mistake, because what Trump lacks in traditionally defined sophistication and awareness, he more than makes up for in shrewd political cunning of a sort not seen since the regnum of Franklin Roosevelt. Take a few recent examples. Candidate Donald Trump was roundly hounded by the political and media establishment for suggesting that the election might be “rigged.” Trump was apparently reacting to old rumors of voting-machine irregularities. (In fact, in about a third of blue Detroit’s precincts, to take just one example, more votes this election were recorded than there were registered voters.) Or perhaps Trump channeled reports that there was an epidemic of invalid or out-of-date voter registrations. (Controversially, the normally staid Pew Charitable Trust found that 2.4 million voter registrations were no longer accurate or were significantly inaccurate.) Or maybe he fanned fears that illegal aliens were voting. (Another controversial study from two professors at Old Dominion suggested that over 6 percent of non-citizens may have voted in 2008; and the president on the eve of the election, in his usual wink-and-nod fashion, assured the illegal-alien community that there would be no federal interest in examining immigration status in connection with voting status.) Or perhaps Trump was convinced that the media and the Democratic establishment worked hand in hand to warp elections and media coverage. (The WikiLeaks trove revealed that media operatives leaked primary debate questions and sent their stories to the Clinton campaign for fact-checking before publication, as two successive DNC chairpersons resigned in disgrace for purportedly sabotaging the primary-challenge efforts of Bernie Sanders.) For all this and more, Trump was roundly denounced by the status quo as a buffoon who cherry-picked scholarly work to offer puerile distortions. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both expressed outrage at Trump’s supposedly incendiary suggestions of voter irregularity, alleging that Trump was either delusional or insurrectionary or both. But was he? Or did he sense that his candidacy was touching off an “any means necessary” effort of unethical progressives to warp the law and custom for purportedly noble ends? After the election, that supposition was more than confirmed. The Joke’s on Them Trump’s enemies have now proved him a Nostradamus. Fourth-party candidate Jill Stein, joined by the remains of the Clinton campaign, asked for a recount of the 2016 election, but only in those states that provided Trump his electoral majority and only on the assumption that there was zero chance that Stein’s candidacy would be affected by any conceivable new vote figure. Though perhaps, Trump’s critics wished, the recount would resurrect the candidacy of Stein’s stalking horse Hillary Clinton. Trump’s enemies have now proved him a Nostradamus. Then members of the Clinton campaign and powerful Democrats joined an effort to pressure electors of the Electoral College to defy their state-mandated duty to reflect the vote totals of their states and instead refrain from voting for Donald Trump. That was all but a neo-Confederate, insurrectionary act that sought to nullify the spirit of the Constitution and the legal statues of many states — part and parcel of new surreal progressive embrace of states’-rights nullification that we have not seen since the days of George Wallace. Trump then earned greater outrage when he questioned the CIA’s sudden announcement, via leaks, that the Russians had hacked Clinton-campaign communication. When Trump said that the newfound post-election “consensus” on Russian hacking was improper, unreliable, and suggestive of an overly politicized intelligence apparatus, he once again drew universal ire — proof positive that he lacked a “presidential” temperament. Yet our intelligence agencies do have a history of politicization. The 2006 national intelligence assessment at the height of the Iraq insurgency and of George W. Bush’s unpopularity oddly claimed that Iran had stopped nuclear-weapons work as early as 2003 — a finding that, if plausible, would probably have rendered irrelevant all of Obama’s frantic efforts just three years later to conclude an Iran deal. And our intelligence agencies’ record at assessment is not exactly stellar, given that it missed the Pakistan and Indian nuclear-bomb programs, Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, and the status of Saddam’s WMD program. There is still no solid proof of deliberate Russian cyber interference intended to aid Donald Trump. Loretta Lynch is skeptical that Russia tried to help the Trump campaign. A Washington Post story alleging that the RNC was hacked was based on myth. WikiLeaks, for what it is worth, insists its source was not Russian. And we now learn that intelligence authorities are refusing to testify in closed session to the House Intelligence Committee about the evidence that prompted their odd post-election announcements — announcements that contradict their earlier pre-election suggestions that Russian hacking was not affecting the election. One possibility is that the likelihood of a Clinton victory spurred the administration and the likely president-elect to suggest that the election process remained sacrosanct and immune from all tampering — while the completely unforeseen loss to Trump abruptly motivated them to readjust such assessments. Trump has a habit of offering off-the-cuff unconventional observations — often unsubstantiated by verbal footnotes and in hyperbolic fashion. Then he is blasted for ignorance and recklessness by bipartisan grandees. Only later, and quietly, he is often taken seriously, but without commensurate public acknowledgement. A few more examples. Candidate Trump blasted the “free-loading” nature of NATO, wondered out loud why it was not fighting ISIS or at least Islamic terrorism, and lamented the inordinate American contribution and the paucity of commensurate allied involvement. Pundits called that out as heresy, at least for a few weeks — until scholars, analysts, and politicos offered measured support for Trump’s charges. Europeans, shocked by gambling in Casablanca, scrambled to assure that they were upping their defense contributions and drawing the NATO line at the Baltic States. President-elect Trump generated even greater outrage in the aftermath of the election when he took a call from the Taiwanese president. Pundits exploded. Foreign policy hands were aghast. Did this faker understand the dimensions of his blunder? Was he courting nuclear war? Trump shrugged, as reality again intruded: Why sell billions of dollars in weaponry to Taiwan if you cannot talk to its president? Are arms shipments less provocative than receiving a single phone call? Why talk “reset” to the thuggish murderous Castro brothers but not to a democratically elected president? Why worry what China thinks, given that it has swallowed Tibet and now created artificial islands in the South China Sea, in defiance of all maritime custom, law, and tradition? Two weeks later after the call, analysts — true to the pattern — meekly agreed that such a phone call was hardly incendiary. Perhaps, they mused, it was overdue and had a certain logic. Perhaps it had, after all, sent a valuable message to China that the U.S. may now appear as unpredictable to China as China has appeared to the U.S. Perhaps the Taiwan call had, after all, sent a valuable message to China that the U.S. may now appear as unpredictable to China as China has appeared to the U.S. More recently, Trump asked in a tweet why we should take back a sea drone stolen by China from under the nose of a U.S. ship. Aside from questions of whether the drone is now compromised, damaged, or bugged, would anyone be happy that a thief appeared days later at the door, offering back the living room’s stolen loot, on the condition to just let bygones be bygones — at least until the next heist? On most issues, Trump sensed what was verbiage and what was doable — and what was the indefensible position of his opponents. Prune away Trump’s hyperbole, and we see that his use of the illegal immigration issue is another good example. Finishing the existing southern border wall is sane and sober. “Making Mexico pay for it” can quietly be accomplished, at least in part, by simply taxing the over $50 billion in remittances sent to Mexico and Latin America by those in the U.S. who cannot prove legal residence or citizenship. Ending sanctuary cities will win majority support: Who wants to make the neo-Confederate argument that local jurisdictions can override U.S. law — and, indeed, who would make that secessionist case on behalf of violent criminal aliens? Deporting illegal-alien law-breakers — or those who are fit and able but without any history of work — is likewise the sort of position that the Left cannot, for political reasons, easily oppose. As for the rest, after closing off the border, Trump will likely shrug and allow illegal aliens who are working, who have established a few years of residence, and who are non-criminal to pay a fine, learn English, and get a green card — perhaps relegating the entire quagmire of illegal immigration to a one-time American aberration that has diminishing demographic and political relevance. Trump the Brawler Finally, Trump sensed that the proverbial base was itching for a bare-knuckles fighter. They wanted any kind of brawler who would not play by the Marquess of Queensberry rules of 2008 and 2012 that had doomed Romney and McCain, who, fairly or not, seemed to wish to lose nobly rather than win in black-and-blue fashion, and who were sometimes more embarrassed than proud of their base. Trump again foresaw that talking trash in crude tones would appeal to middle Americans as much as Obama’s snarky and ego-driven, but otherwise crude trash-talking delighted his coastal elites. So Trump said the same kinds of things to Hillary Clinton that she, in barely more measured tones, had often said to others but never expected anyone to say out loud to her. And the more the media cried foul, the more Trump knew that voters would cry “long overdue.”  We can expect that Trump’s impulsiveness and electronically fed braggadocio will often get him into trouble. No doubt his tweets will continue to offend. But lost amid the left-wing hatred of Trump and the conservative Never Trump condescension is that so far he has shattered American political precedents by displaying much more political cunning and prescience than have his political opponents and most observers. Key is his emperor-has-no-clothes instinct that what is normal and customary in Washington was long ago neither sane nor necessary. And so far, his candidacy has not only redefined American politics but also recalibrated the nature of insight itself — leaving the wise to privately wonder whether they were ever all that wise after all.

Voir également:

The brilliant Donald Trump deserves to win

His political achievements are already unprecedented, and his insight amounts to genius

Conrad Black
The Spectator

23 July 2016

Almost anyone who has followed the US presidential selection process closely could realise what a brilliant campaign Donald Trump has conducted. He saw that in its self-absorption, the US political class had completely failed to grasp the extent of public anger at the deterioration of almost everything. American public policy has brought about the greatest sequence of disasters since the 1920s, when the liquor business was given to gangsters by Prohibition, followed by the equities debt bubble and the Great Depression.

In the past 20 years, both parties shared in the creation of the housing bubble, which produced the greatest financial crisis since the 1930s, and a decade of war in the Middle East which, despite excellent military execution, Obama has turned into a victory for Iran and an immense humanitarian disaster. Further foreign policy humiliations have included the evaporating ‘red line’ in Syria, the 180-degree switch in official attitudes to Iran, culminating in a delayed green light to nuclear weapons (if Tehran chooses to wait).

Both political parties share the blame for the admission of 12 million unskilled workers into the US illegally, and for trade pacts with cheap-labour countries that appear to import unemployment. The political class and its media claque conducted business as usual while the welfare, education and justice systems became clogged with migrants, and the national debt of $9 trillion doubled in seven years. Barack Obama told the Joint Chiefs of Staff that climate change was the greatest threat to America and he and Hillary Clinton refuse to utter the words ‘Islamic terrorism’. (He called the San Bernardino massacre ‘workplace-related’.)

There has never been anything remotely like the rise of America from a small number of colonists to the most dominant power in history, and Americans are not philosophical about being held up to ridicule in the world. Nor have they ever tolerated a flatline on the country’s prosperity and prospects. Donald Trump, a great public figure — as the developer of famous buildings, an impresario and television host — saw the depth of American outrage at all this and as a non-politician was not complicit in any of it.

He paid for his own campaign and ran against the entire political class, facing 16 rivals for the Republican nomination. He won from the start, piling up astonishing pluralities as the commentariat slowly retreated. They claimed he could not aspire to more than 20, 30, 40 per cent of Republicans, would be sandbagged at the convention, would attract a Ross Perot-like third party to splinter the Republican vote, and would be routed in a horrible landslide by Hillary Clinton. The flabby Republican establishment backed Ted Cruz, an intelligent man who nevertheless told the world that God had commanded he run and who pitched his campaign to the Bible-thumping corn-cobbers with M-16s in the rear windows of their pick-up trucks. The media have remained smugly hostile to Trump, despite warnings that a majority of Americans despise the media too — and that they were just stoking a pro-Trump backlash.

As Trump has moved up, Hillary Clinton has had to move far to the left to hold off Bernie Sanders, a septuagenarian former Stalinist kibbutznik and socialist senator for Vermont. Trump’s genius has been to see, when no one else did, that the political class was a spavined paper tiger and the country was afire with rage; to scoop the Archie Bunker (Alf Garnett) vote with blue-collar political incorrectness and his comic talents, which won him the debates; and yet to remain centrist on everything but illegal immigration and bad trade deals. (Trump and Clinton both went to great lengths to maintain the centrists in control of both parties, against severe challenges from the far Republican right and Democratic left; but almost none of the media, foreign or domestic, has noticed.) The best is yet to come: the last refuge of his opponents is that Trump will be an undignified and frightening candidate. He will be the sane and educated man he is.

Hillary Clinton is carrying more baggage than the Queen Mary and Trump will carpet-bomb the country in September and October with a billion dollars of reminders of Benghazi (she slept while her ambassador was murdered), the televised apology to the world’s Muslims, the FBI director’s non-indictment indictment; the malodorous conflicts of the Clinton Foundation entwined with the Clinton State Department. Even Whitewater is due for a rerun. This is not Norman Rockwell’s or Walt Disney’s America, and it never was. American presidential politics is a jungle; the nominees are great beasts, but Donald Trump is larger and fiercer. In taking over a major US political party from the outside, he has done something that has never been done before, and he should win.

Voir encore:

Democrats in the Wilderness
Inside a decimated party’s not-so-certain revival strategy.
Edward-Isaac Dovere

Politico

January/February 2017

Standing with some 30,000 people in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia the night before the election watching Hillary Clinton speak, exhausted aides were already worrying about what would come next. They expected her to win, of course, but they knew President Clinton was going to get thrashed in the 2018 midterms—the races were tilted in Republicans’ favor, and that’s when they thought the backlash would really hit. Many assumed she’d be a one-term president. They figured she’d get a primary challenge. Some of them had already started gaming out names for who it would be.

“Last night I stood at your doorstep / Trying to figure out what went wrong,” Bruce Springsteen sang quietly to the crowd in what he called “a prayer for post-election.” “It’s gonna be a long walk home.”

What happened the next night shocked even the most pessimistic Democrats. But in another sense, it was the reckoning the party had been expecting for years. They were counting on a Clinton win to paper over a deeper rot they’ve been worrying about—and to buy them some time to start coming up with answers. In other words, it wasn’t just Donald Trump. Or the Russians. Or James Comey. Or all the problems with how Clinton and her aides ran the campaign. Win or lose, Democrats were facing an existential crisis in the years ahead—the result of years of complacency, ignoring the withering of the grass roots and the state parties, sitting by as Republicans racked up local win after local win.

“The patient,” says Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, “was clearly already sick.”

As Trump takes over the GOP and starts remaking its new identity as a nationalist, populist party, creating a new political pole in American politics for the first time in generations, all eyes are on the Democrats. How will they confront a suddenly awakened, and galvanized, white majority? What’s to stop Trump from doing whatever he wants? Who’s going to pull a coherent new vision together? Worried liberals are watching with trepidation, fearful that Trump is just the beginning of worse to come, desperate for a comeback strategy that can work.

What’s clear from interviews with several dozen top Democratic politicians and operatives at all levels, however, is that there is no comeback strategy—just a collection of half-formed ideas, all of them challenged by reality. And for whatever scheme they come up with, Democrats don’t even have a flag-carrier. Barack Obama? He doesn’t want the job. Hillary Clinton? Too damaged. Bernie Sanders? Too socialist. Joe Biden? Too tied to Obama. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer? Too Washington. Elizabeth Warren? Maybe. And all of them old, old, old.

The Democrats’ desolation is staggering. But part of the problem is that it’s easy to point to signs that maybe things aren’t so bad. After all, Clinton did beat Trump by 2.8 million votes, Obama’s approval rating is nearly 60 percent, polls show Democrats way ahead of the GOP on many issues and demographics suggest that gap will only grow. But they are stuck in the minority in Congress with no end in sight, have only 16 governors left and face 32 state legislatures fully under GOP control. Their top leaders in the House are all over 70. Their top leaders in the Senate are all over 60. Under Obama, Democrats have lost 1,034 seats at the state and federal level—there’s no bench, no bench for a bench, virtually no one able to speak for the party as a whole.

“The fact that our job should be easier just shows how poorly we’re doing the job,” says Massachusetts Representative Seth Moulton, an Iraq War veteran seen as one of the party’s rising stars.

The View From the Field
Rising Democratic stars around the country diagnose their party’s problems.

What did Democrats get wrong in the 2016 race?

“We arrived at this point through some combination of either outright offending or at least failing to inspire nearly every segment of our party’s base voters.”
—Tim Ryan, U.S. representative, Ohio

“Democrats failed to listen sufficiently to voters, appreciate their discontent with the status quo and articulate how they will fight for working Americans.”
—Gretchen Whitmer, former state senate Democratic leader, Michigan

“People and polls were unfairly distracted by unintelligent, racist banter centering on anti-establishment or anti-politically correct views.”
—Shavonda Sumter, state assemblywoman, New Jersey
There are now fewer than 700 days until Election Day 2018, as internal memos circulating among Democratic strategists point out with alarm. They differ in their prescriptions, but all boil down to the same inconvenient truth: If Republicans dominate the 2018 midterms, they will control the Senate (and with it, the Supreme Court) for years, and they will draw district lines in states that will lock in majorities in the House and across state capitals, killing the next generation of Democrats in the crib, setting up the GOP for an even more dominant 2020 and beyond.

Most doubt Democrats have the stamina or the stomach for the kind of cohesive resistance that Republicans perfected over the years. In their guts, they want to say yes to government doing things, and they’re already getting drawn in by promises to work with Trump and the Republican majorities. They’re heading into the next elections with their brains scrambled by Trump’s win, side-eyeing one another over who’s going to sell out the rest, nervous the incoming president will keep outmaneuvering them in the media and throw up more targets than they could ever hope to shoot at—and all of this from an election that was supposed to cement their claim on the future.

Some thinking has started to take shape. Obama is quickly reformatting his post-presidency to have a more political bent than he had planned. Vice President Joe Biden is beginning to structure his own thoughts on mentoring and guiding rising Democrats. (No one seems to be waiting to hear from Clinton.) At the law office of former Attorney General Eric Holder, which is serving as the base for the redistricting reform project he is heading for Obama, they’re getting swarmed with interest and checks. At the Democratic Governors Association, all of a sudden looking like the headquarters of the resistance, they’re sorting through a spike in interested candidates. And everyone from Obama on down is talking about going local, focusing on the kinds of small races and party-building activities Republicans have been dominating for cycle after cycle.

But all that took decades, and Democrats have no time. What are they going to do next? There hasn’t been an American political party in worse shape in living memory. And there may never have been a party less ready to confront it.

“We’re at a space shuttle moment,” says Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who is widely expected to run statewide soon in Georgia. “The most vulnerable time for the space shuttle is when it re-enters the environment, so that when it comes back into the environment it doesn’t blow up. The tiles need to be tight. I’m concerned about the tightness of the tiles on the space shuttle right now. We have to get through this heat.”

***

Problem No. 1: Message

What scares many Democrats about Trump isn’t any particular campaign pledge—his promises to build a wall or keep out Muslims or shut down Obamacare. Those are fights they can wrap their heads around. No, the existential, hair-on-fire threat to the Democratic Party is just how easy it was for Trump to sneak around their flank and rob them of an issue they thought was theirs alone—economic populism—even as they partied at fundraisers in Hollywood and the Hamptons.

It so happens that the most prominent advocate of this view—Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren—is, for the moment, the party’s most plausible standard-bearer in 2020. The mission now, Warren believes, can be summed up in five words: Take back populism from Trump. “The American people know what they want,” she said in an interview, urging an emphasis on economic opportunity. “If Donald Trump and his Republican Party can’t deliver on any of that, then the American people will see that he’s not on their side.”

The View From the Field
Rising Democratic stars around the country diagnose their party’s problems.

Why are Democrats lagging at the state and local levels?

“We’ve paid an enormous price for letting our local organizations atrophy to a point of near irrelevance.”
—Ruben Gallego, U.S. representative, Arizona

“In part, it’s because certain policy ambitions are best achieved on a national level. But that national focus has become myopic.”
—Stacey Abrams, Democratic leader, Georgia House of Representatives

“[Republicans] had a 50-state model approach to winning the redistricting battles. We didn’t.”
—Eric Swalwell, U.S. representative, California
Trump has made it easy by stacking his administration with millionaires and billionaires whose confirmation preparations included memorizing the price of milk so they don’t seem out of touch—people like Treasury pick Steven Mnuchin, whose bank once foreclosed on a 90-year-old woman’s house when she made a 27-cent payment error.

“Donald Trump with these appointments is saying squarely to the American people that he lied to them and his promise is worth nothing,” adds Warren. “That’s the point to keep making.”

Connecticut’s Chris Murphy, seen by many as a rising liberal leader of the Senate, makes a slightly different argument. The lesson from Trump’s win, in his eyes, is how sick voters are of the status quo and pragmatism. Murphy is all for saying no to Trump, but he argues that Democrats need to come up with their own proposals, however unrealistic, and say yes—big league. Entitlement reform? Forget it, Murphy says: Now’s the time to talk about expanding Social Security, not shrinking it. “A lot of Democrats laughed at Bernie Sanders when he proposed free college. First of all, that’s not impossible,” Murphy says, but more to the point, “it’s a way to communicate a really important issue in terms that people will understand.”

Illinois Representative Cheri Bustos, a former journalist who has been tapped to help lead House Democrats’ communications efforts, is urging her colleagues to go hyperlocal—a strategy informed by her own success in a bad year for the party. She won by 20 percentage points in a northwest Illinois district that Trump carried by half a point and Obama carried by 17 points in 2012. Bustos wants each member to identify constituents who will be affected by policy shifts under Trump and have district staff promote those people in local media. Tell their stories, she says.

Every path back to power runs through figuring out how to get voters to believe again that the Democratic Party, founded on and forever about a fairer economy, is aware that millions of Americans feel the economy’s been unfair to them and think Democrats have no real plans to do anything about it.

“Trump is talking about the economy of the past, bringing us backward to an economy that doesn’t exist anymore. Rather than going back into the coal mines, we’ve got to show how hardworking people in Appalachia can contribute to the new economy,” says Moulton, who is often talked about as a candidate for statewide office and beyond. “The message has to be: ‘We need you, we want you to be a part of the economy.’ We’re not going to pretend that it’s going to be 1955 again, but there’s a new economy coming and America’s not going to succeed if it’s not responding.”

This has echoes of how Bill Clinton campaigned in 1992—as a champion of globalization who would make it work better for ordinary Americans—but that was before so many of the factories had closed, before the culture felt different, before the internet made everything more immediate and more immediately infuriating. Yet Obama and his 21st-century Democrats beat back the Clinton restoration in 2008 in large part by running against the incremental, crabwise approach of the ’90s. Bill Clinton was a Southern Democrat who grew up in a world of political constraints, and there aren’t too many of those anymore; what the base wants now is Warren-like progressive passion, without any of the liberal self-loathing they sensed in the Clintons.

Over emails, texts and phone calls, ad hoc networks of younger Democrats have started to form, eager to talk about a new start for the party.

“Part of the work I’m doing right now is recognizing there is nobody left. It’s pulling together my peers,” says Eric Garcetti, a 45-year old Mexican-American Jewish mayor of Los Angeles who is widely assumed to be part of the party’s future in California and potentially beyond. He wanted Clinton to win. But there’s a certain freedom in moving past Clintonism.

“It’s maybe the end of … ‘The era of big government is over,’” he says.

***

Problem No. 2: The Politics of Obstruction

It’s been 10 years since Democrats didn’t control at least one wing of the federal government, and a lot of them, argues Ruben Gallego, an Arizona Democrat elected to the House in 2014, have forgotten what that’s like. Those who do, he says, are all basing their thinking on what they did to George W. Bush or what Mitch McConnell did to Obama. “They’re scared of the unknown. This is a new world for them. And they’re trying to find solace in what they know,” Gallego says.

Gallego points to his time as assistant minority leader in the Arizona legislature under an all GOP-controlled government, where Democrats held the line until splintered Republicans gave in, allowing them to preserve Obama’s Medicaid expansion. For what’s ahead in Washington, he’s pushing a kind of explanatory resistance, refusing any cooperation with Trump—“It’s very dangerous to give this man anything, because anything he does makes him more powerful, and he’s going to use power irresponsibly”—while using every fight as an opportunity to promote what the party stands for instead.

Trump’s pledge to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure is one of those opportunities, Gallego says. His idea: Make Trump release his taxes to show that he won’t personally benefit from any provision in the bill, while using whatever’s in the bill to make concrete and specific cases to voters about why the president and the Congress are hurting them, and why Democrats’ intransigence matters directly in people’s lives.

It sounds reasonable enough, except for one problem: There’s no way Republicans, who control every lever of power in the House, will allow it. And there’s no way the 70-year-old Trump, elected without releasing his taxes and feeling validated by every decision he has made so far, is going to suddenly become a new man once he’s sitting in the Oval Office.

“I worry that our caucus is going to pick way too many things to communicate, way too many things to display outrage about,” says Murphy.

The only mechanism Democrats have to actually shape what happens in Washington is the Senate—with 48 votes that give them an eight-vote margin for error on filibusters and the hope that three Republicans will break away on some votes to join them in the majority. Trump works best with a foil, and they’re determined not to serve themselves up to him as obstructionists.

And here, Democrats have more of a strategy than they are perhaps letting on. In essence, the idea is to focus on issues that drive a wedge through the Republican caucus. On Obamacare, they will step out of the way and let Republicans squirm among themselves. On infrastructure, the plan is to split Republicans between those leery of new spending and those who just want to get along with Trump. Either way, Democrats figure, they win: They could get a bill they support, or send the process into enough of a tailspin that GOP forces devour one another and there won’t be any bill at all. As for Trump, they will just wait him out. “If he comes much closer to where we are, we could work with him,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in an interview, “and that kind of issue unites our caucus and divides theirs.”

Many on the left view Schumer warily, suspicious of his breaks with Obama on Israel and Iran, his close ties to Wall Street and his reputation for cutting deals and hogging the spotlight. The base wants McConnell-style, uncaring and unapologetic obstruction, or at least the old Harry Reid, burn-the-place-down and taunt-the-flames kind of pushback. There’s already a vast library of liberal freak-out think pieces about Schumer’s refrain that he’s not going to say no to bills just because they have Trump’s name on them.

The View From the Field
Rising Democratic stars around the country diagnose their party’s problems.

What’s the Democratic Party’s greatest weakness right now?

“Our as yet unmet need for a standard-bearer to move us past the disappointments of 2016 and lead the opposition effort during the Trump presidency.”
—Cyrus Habib, lieutenant governor, Washington state

“[Democrats] are the true champions of economic empowerment for middle-class Americans and those who aspire to the middle class. … But that wasn’t successfully communicated in this election.”
—Elizabeth Brown, city councilmember, Columbus, Ohio

“Our inclination to over-learn some of the lessons from the last election. It would be a mistake to lose sight of what has made us the best party to represent a rapidly evolving nation: our inclusiveness.”
—Crisanta Duran, speaker of the House, Colorado State Assembly
Asked about what he’s been telling Trump in their private phone calls, Schumer is coy. “I said, ‘You ran against both the Democratic and Republican establishments—if you do that as president, you could get some things done, but if you just let the hard right capture your presidency, like with the Cabinet appointments,’” Schumer recounts, “‘it could well be a flop.’”

Relentless obstruction could easily be a trap, too. “My worry is that we lose focus. I don’t know what outrage to focus on a daily basis, and I worry that our caucus is going to pick way too many things to communicate, way too many things to display outrage about,” Murphy says, “and in the end, nothing will end up translating.”

***

Problem No. 3: The Midterms

If there’s anyone who can lay claim to having the worst job in Washington, it’s Chris Van Hollen. A freshman senator from Maryland, he has been charged with leading the Democrats’ efforts to retake the Senate in 2018. When Schumer, who is expected to stay central to fundraising and campaign strategy, announced Van Hollen’s role, he somewhat disingenuously described him as “our first choice”—as in first choice who didn’t say no.

Schumer and Van Hollen have a complex calculus ahead of them, driven not only by the need to keep the party base energized against Trump, but also the reality that 10 of their incumbents come from states Trump won and may often align with the president for their own survival. Senate Democrats were facing a terrible 2018 map before Trump, with 25 seats up for grabs, and their prospects have gotten notably worse, with races in already difficult spots like Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia as the baseline, and potentially new territory opened up in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, after Trump’s wins there. Republicans are defending eight seats, but only one in a state Clinton won.

A good way to make Van Hollen stop short and almost laugh is to ask him about candidate recruitment for next year. Sitting at a conference table in the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s headquarters on Capitol Hill, Van Hollen makes abundantly clear that the math he’s thinking about is how to stay as close to the current 48 as he can.

“Our focus,” he says, “will be on supporting our members, so we can hold the blue wall.”

Make it through 2018. Hope for 2020.

Van Hollen, who masterminded Democrats’ pickup of 21 House seats in 2008, only to lose 60 in the 2010 midterm wipeout, is seen as one of the party’s canniest strategists. It’s early days yet, but he and other top Democrats have already been studying the 2016 election returns in detail, searching for clues that can help them staunch the bleeding in 2018. One intriguing thing they’ve found: All those people who voted for both Obama and Trump look like reliable anti-Washington voters primed to boomerang against the GOP now that the other guys are in charge. Incumbents have been told to act as if they’re the mayors of their states. There’s talk of centralizing around a few easy and direct proposals, much shorter than the Republicans’ old Contract with America. Shortly before kicking off his candidacy, Van Hollen, notably, pitched a plan that would take $2,000 off the taxes of anyone earning less than $200,000 per year, reward savings and triple the child care tax credit.

As for those vexing red-state senators, “I don’t think anyone is running toward Trump. They’re running toward the issues that are important to the people in their states,” Van Hollen says. Maybe so. But get used to headlines about Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin and Claire McCaskill going rogue.

If there is hope for the Democratic Party in the short term, it’s in the governors’ mansions they control now—and the ones they hope to control in the near future. Governors like Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee in Washington, Jerry Brown in California and Andrew Cuomo in New York are going to be blocking and tackling in their capitols, pushing state-level legislation on immigration, Medicare, environmental standards and reproductive rights. California Democrats have already hired Holder as a sort of warrior-lawyer, anticipating years of legal battles with Trump’s Washington.

On the other end of the spectrum is Montana Governor Steve Bullock, a Democrat who won reelection by 4 percentage points on the same day Trump won his state by more than 20, running on a record of Medicaid expansion, campaign finance reform, equal pay and expanding public education—on top of having issued more vetoes than any Montana governor in history. Instead of raging against Trump and the Republicans in Congress, Bullock wants to ignore them. “We as Democrats need to recognize that there’s no such thing as a national issue,” he says.

The View From the Field
Rising Democratic stars around the country diagnose their party’s problems.

What should the Democratic Party’s core message be?

“Donald Trump co-opted our core message, which is that voters want their leaders to step up and lead on their bread-and-butter issues. If Trump can’t deliver on his promises, we need to show that progressive economic polices are the pathway forward.”
—Lorena Gonzalez, state assemblywoman, California

“We are the party of opportunity and fairness. … Opportunity requires that Americans have a path to the middle class; fairness insists that path be open to all.”
—Mike Johnston, state senator, Colorado

“Trump wants to take us back to an economy of the past, which simply doesn’t exist anymore. Democrats have the opportunity to show how all Americans can be a part of the economy of the future, and how we need the diverse talents of all our people to be at our best.”
—Seth Moulton, U.S. representative, Massachusetts
All this positioning is building up to a heady 2017 and 2018, with governors’ races in nine swingy states where a Republican has been in charge the past eight years. Add in likely pickups in blue New Jersey this year and potentially Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts next year, and Democrats could end up with a slew of new governors.

“You want models? I got models,” says Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, who’s doing another stint as chair of the Democratic Governors Association. Think Bullock in Montana, Roy Cooper in North Carolina and John Bel Edwards in Louisiana—Malloy argues that each 2018 race will need a tailored, locally smart strategy. But if there’s one tactic that binds them all together, it’s this: relentless aggression. Malloy blames 2016 on Democrats overestimating voters’ ability to see that they were being lied to by Trump and other Republicans. He has no intention of making the same mistake in 2018.

“We can’t assume anything,” Malloy says. “It’s going to be hand-to-hand combat.”

Some Democrats see a different lesson in 2016, with a takeaway best summed up by a Samuel L. Jackson line from Pulp Fiction: Personality goes a long way. On paper, Trump had none of the characteristics of a successful GOP nominee—a Manhattan billionaire who bragged about cheating on his first wife with the mistress who later became his second divorce, a closet full of skeletons and a history of cozying up to Democrats? But he was able to connect on such a visceral level that none of those liabilities mattered. What he also showed is how irrelevant parties are—before he pulled chunks of the Democratic base away from Clinton, he swallowed the strongest field of up-and-coming Republican leaders in decades, all while throwing conservative dogma in the toilet. Internalize that, Garcetti says, because “there’s no question that the next generation of voters for the next 50 years will be people who don’t wake up thinking about themselves as a Democrat or a Republican.”

Pick your movie analogy: People want more Jay Bulworth, less Tracy Flick. It often took a village of Clinton advisers just to produce one tweet; Trump pulls out his Android smartphone and lets loose. “Do your own social media for crying out loud. That authenticity is important,” New Jersey Senator Cory Booker advises. Democrats aren’t going to turn into Trump clones, dashing off grammatically challenged 140-character tirades at 3 a.m., but their politicians are trying to unlearn how to be politicians.

“Everybody who’s in elected office, who wants a future in this space, whatever you are, be it,” Atlanta’s Reed says. “Anybody can win right now. But I’ll tell you who will definitely lose: a fraud.”

***

Problem No. 4: The Obama Legacy

Several times since the election, between knocks on Clinton for running a low-energy campaign, Obama has compared this moment for Democrats to 2004, when George W. Bush was narrowly reelected, the House stayed Republican, and he and Ken Salazar were the only Democrats newly elected to a Republican-dominated Senate. Two years later, he points out, Democrats swept Congress. Two years after that, he’s the president.

What Obama conveniently leaves out is how significantly gerrymandering, enabled by state-level losses, has since tilted the House map for Republicans, how different that 2006 Senate map looked from what’s ahead, and how at this same point, four years out from Election Day 2008, it was pretty clear that Obama and Clinton and John Edwards and probably Biden and Bill Richardson and all the way down to Dennis Kucinich were going to run for president. Now, no one has any idea who the field will be in 2020, and no one outside Washington knows the names that get talked about in Washington.

“With Barack, we skipped a whole generation,” Biden told me in an interview in his West Wing office just over a week before Trump’s inauguration, when I asked him if he would run in 2020 and what that says about the party’s lack of young leaders. “There’s also been times when it looked like there were a lot of qualified people who were younger, and all of a sudden you turn to the older folks in the party.” He didn’t name any.

Warren might spark a movement, and she could almost certainly count on winning New Hampshire, but she would be 71 and make a lot of Democrats worry she would take the party too far left. Booker can, and likes to assert that he can, tap into an Obama-esque post-racial aspirationalism. Cuomo would have a socially progressive, fiscal centrist record to tout. Many are talking up Kamala Harris, though almost none of them know anything about the new California senator other than that she’s a multi-ethnic woman; few have heard her speak or couldn’t identify a single policy position she holds. Other names get tossed around—Hickenlooper, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

“There isn’t a clear tier-one level of elected officials jumping out right now,” says Mitch Stewart, Obama’s 2012 battleground states director and now a Democratic operative working with some of the up-and-coming talent. “There’s so much more oxygen in the run-up to this next election than there has been previously, that leaders in industry, leaders in nonprofit, leaders in service outside of politics can take a real look at the 2020 race.”

And so conversations tip to the likes of Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Mark Cuban, Tom Steyer, Tom Hanks. There’s always the George Clooney fantasy. Meryl Streep wasn’t even done with her Trump-bashing speech at the Golden Globes before that idea started going around, at least informally.

In the meantime, Democrats face a dangerous period in which it’s not clear who is calling the shots. Obama and Biden have both rethought their retirement plans to help shape the next generation of Democrats—Obama focused more on rebuilding party infrastructure, cultivating the grass roots and potentially meeting with presidential candidates as 2020 gets closer; Biden more engaged with nurturing talented up-and-comers. But both are determined to sit out day-to-day politics, people close to them say, though Trump could easily goad either or both of them back into the fray.

“What I was able to do during my campaigns, I wasn’t able to do during midterms,” Obama said. “I didn’t crack the code on that.”

Many Democrats want Obama now to be the field marshal on the campaign trail and the architect of the revival, if only out of penance for the eight years of Democratic decimation on his watch—a record that culminated in his sharing a limo from the White House to the Inauguration with a man once thought to be the most unelectable major-party nominee in generations.

“You’re right,” Obama said at his good-riddance-to-2016 news conference when I asked him about those critiques. “What I was able to do during my campaigns, I wasn’t able to do during midterms. It’s not that we didn’t put in time and effort into it. I spent time and effort into it, but the coalition I put together didn’t always turn out to be transferable.” Obama blamed some of the losses on the inherent pushback to one party being in power, some to “deep-standing traditional challenges for Democrats, like during off-year elections, the electorate is older and we do better with a younger electorate.”

“I didn’t crack the code on that,” Obama acknowledged, “and if other people have ideas about how to do that even better, I’m all for it.”

***

Problem No. 5: Trump

You could park Trump Force One in the gap between Democrats’ capabilities and their ambitions. They’re eager to crush Trump not just for the sake of stopping the changes he’s pursuing—they want to embarrass him personally, and they look at 2020 as a chance to pretend that he was never really elected, that America didn’t put him in the same seat as Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.

They are petrified that everyone will keep underestimating Trump and will be busy fighting over basic values while the president and his Republican majority roll over them and roll back most of what they fought for during the past eight years. Elections are usually won on pocketbook issues; nobody really knows how it would work to run on abstract concepts like freedom of the press or transparency—but many Democrats are tempted to turn their opposition to Trump into a crusade to save America itself.

“We’ve never had to have a conversation about reselling democracy,” says Murphy. “Liberals scoffed at his talk of jailing journalists and throwing out major portions of the Constitution, because we just sort of assumed that everybody’s on board with this thing called American democracy.”

“The conversations that I’m having in the cloakroom, in texts and on the phone, reflect a caucus that is not about politics right now,” agrees Booker. “This is a crisis moment in America.”

There is no time for any of it: no time to debate what the party should focus on, no time to recruit candidates, no time to identify new leaders, no time to rebuild Democrats’ core of operations, no time to unpack everything that went wrong in the 2016 campaign, no time to build a legislative strategy, no time to wrap their heads around how much change is coming to America and American politics.

After decades of neglect, there’s nothing else, either.

“The Democratic Party now is left literally at zero—zero dollars in the bank, zero infrastructure as the Clinton campaign closes up shop,” wrote Democratic National Committee consultant Donnie Fowler in a post-mortem ordered by outgoing interim chair Donna Brazile, “and, most importantly, zero majority control in Washington and in 33 of the states.”

On the other hand, Trump could be the Democrats’ salvation. He’s already deeply unpopular, and midterms tend to go badly for the party in the White House. It’s tempting for Democrats to think all they need to do is wait for their adversaries to defeat themselves. Or that some reporter will finally discover the Holy Grail of Donald Trump scoops—the story that will take him, and the GOP, down. Or that Republicans will continue to overreach and get eaten by a Trump tweet the way they did the very first day of this Congress with the attempt to scrap the Office of Congressional Ethics. Or that the savior candidate will come from nowhere and rescue the party by sheer force of personality—another Obama.

“Elections are only as bad as the next one,” Garcetti says, “when suddenly the impossible becomes possible.”

Whatever the truth of that statement, the next two and four years are going to be all about Trump. Anson Kaye, one of Clinton’s top media consultants, has been spending the weeks since the election giving a presentation on what happened and what he thinks has to happen now. It ends like this: “Trump is a radical. / Which makes him an opportunity. / Values first. / Stand up (for the little guy/against bullies/in the line of fire) / Talk like a normal person. / Protect the right to vote. / Treat 2018 like a national election. / Target governors and state legislators.”

Then on the final slide: “Be clear-eyed about the America we live in.”

Voir encore:

At the base of Trump’s support

Salena Zito

Trib Live
Aug. 20, 2016

RUFFSDALE

If you drive anywhere in Pennsylvania, from the turnpike to the old U.S. routes to the dirt roads connecting small towns like Hooversville with “bigger” small towns like Somerset, you might conclude that Donald Trump is ahead in this state by double digits.

Large signs, small signs, homemade signs, signs that wrap around barns, signs that go from one end of a fence to another, all dot the landscape with such frequency that, if you were playing the old-fashioned road-trip game of counting cows, you would hit 100 in just one small town like this one.

In Ruffsdale, I am pretty sure I saw more than 100 Trump signs.

It’s as if people here have not turned on the television to hear pundits drone on and on about how badly Trump is losing in Pennsylvania.

It’s not just visual: In interview after interview in all corners of the state, I’ve found that Trump’s support across the ideological spectrum remains strong. Democrats, Republicans, independents, people who have not voted in presidential elections for years — they have not wavered in their support.

Two components of these voters’ answers and profiles remain consistent: They are middle-class, and they do not live in a big city. They are suburban to rural and are not poor — an element I found fascinating, until a Gallup survey last week confirmed that what I’ve gathered in interviews is more than just freakishly anecdotal.

The Gallup analysis, based on 87,000 interviews over the past year, shows that while economic anxiety and Trump’s appeal are intertwined, his supporters for the most part do not make less than average Americans (not those in New York City or Washington, perhaps, but their Main Street peers) and are less likely to be unemployed.

The study backs up what many of my interviews across the state found — that these people are more concerned about their children and grandchildren.

While Trump supporters here are overwhelmingly white, their support has little to do with race (yes, you’ll always find one or two who make race the issue) but has a lot to do with a perceived loss of power.

Not power in the way that Washington or Wall Street board rooms view power, but power in the sense that these people see a diminishing respect for them and their ways of life, their work ethic, their tendency to not be mobile (many live in the same eight square miles that their father’s father’s father lived in).

Thirty years ago, such people determined the country’s standards in entertainment, music, food, clothing, politics, personal values. Today, they are the people who are accused of creating every social injustice imaginable; when anything in society fails, they get blamed.

The places where they live lack economic opportunities for the next generation; they know their children and grandchildren will never experience the comfortable situations they had growing up — surrounded by family who lived next door, able to find a great job without going to college, both common traits among many successful small-business owners in the state.

These Trump supporters are not the kind you find on Twitter saying dumb or racist things; many of them don’t have the time or the patience to engage in social media because they are too busy working and living life in real time.

These are voters who are intellectually offended watching the Affordable Care Act crumble because they warned six years ago that it was an unworkable government overreach. They are the same people who wonder why President Obama has not taken a break from a week of golfing to address the devastating floods in Louisiana. (As one woman told me, “It appears as if he only makes statements during tragedies if there is political gain attached.”)

Voice such a remark, and you risk being labeled a racist in many parts of America.

The Joe-Six-Pack stereotype of a Trump supporter was not created in a vacuum; it’s real and it’s out there. Yet, if you dig down deep into the Gallup survey — or, better yet, take a drive 15 minutes outside of most cities in America — you will learn a different story.

That is, if you look and listen.

Voir enfin:

Year In Review
The Eight Great Powers of 2017

In 2016, Russia surpassed Germany, and Israel joined the list for the first time

Walter Russell Mead & Sean Keeley

1. The United States of America

No surprise here: as it has for the last century, the United States remains the most powerful country on earth. America’s dynamic economy, its constitutional stability (even as we watch the Age of Trump unfold), its deep bench of strong allies and partners (including 5 of the 7 top powers listed below), and its overwhelming military superiority all ensure that the United States sits secure in its status on top of the greasy pole of international power politics.

Not that American power increased over the past year. 2016 may have been the worst year yet for the Obama Administration, bringing a string of foreign policy failures that further undermined American credibility across the world. In Syria, Russia brutally assisted Assad in consolidating control over Aleppo and sidelined Washington in the subsequent peace talks. China continued to defy the American-led international order, building up its military presence in the South China Sea and reaching out to American allies like the Philippines. Iran and its proxies continued their steady rise in the Middle East, while the Sunnis and Israel increasingly questioned Washington’s usefulness as an ally. Meanwhile, the widespread foreign perception that Donald Trump was unqualified to serve as the President of the United States contributed to a growing chorus of doubt as to whether the American people posses the wit and the wisdom to retain their international position. Those concerns seemed to be growing in the early weeks of 2017.

In the domestic realm, too, America’s leaders did little to address the country’s pressing long-term economic problems, nor did they inspire much confidence in the potential for effective bipartisan cooperation. The populist surge that almost gave the Democratic nomination to the Socialist senator Bernie Sanders and brought Donald J. Trump to the White House was a sign of just how alienated from politics as usual many Americans have become. Foreigners will be watching the United States closely in 2017 to see whether and how badly our internal divisions are affecting the country’s will and ability to pursue a broad international agenda.

Still, for all this gloom, there was good news to be had. Fracking was the gift that kept on giving, as the United States surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the country with the world’s largest recoverable oil assets and American businesses discovered new innovations to boost their output. The economy continued its steady growth and unemployment fell to a pre-financial crisis low, with the Fed’s year-end interest rate hike serving as a vote of confidence in the economy’s resilience.

As the Trump administration gets under way, the United States is poised for what could be the most consequential shift in American policy in several generations. On some issues, such as the shale revolution, Trump will build on the progress already made; in other areas, such as China’s maritime expansionism or domestic infrastructure, his policies may bring a welcome change; in others still, Trump’s impulsiveness could well usher in the dangerous consequences that his liberal detractors so fear.

But regardless of what change the coming year brings, it is important to remember that America’s strength does not derive solely or primarily from the whims of its leaders. America’s constitutional system, its business-friendly economy, and the innovation of its people are more lasting sources of power, proving Trump critics right on at least one count: America has never stopped being great.

2.  China (tie)

In 2016, China cemented its status as the world’s second greatest power and the greatest long-term challenger to the United States. In the face of American passivity, Beijing projected power in the South and East China Seas, built up its artificial outposts and snatched a U.S. military drone at year’s end. Aside from its own forceful actions, China also enjoyed several strokes of good fortune in 2016, from the election of a China-friendly populist in the Philippines to the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will grant China a new opportunity to set the trade agenda in the Asia-Pacific.

China continued to alternate between intimidating and courting its neighbors, scoring some high-profile victories in the process. Most prominent was the turnaround from Manila, as the new Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte embraced China: in part because of his anti-Americanism, but also thanks to Chinese support for his anti-drug campaign and the promise of lucrative trade ties and a bilateral understanding on the South China Sea. Beijing also cannily exploited the Malaysian Prime Minister’s disillusionment with the United States to pull him closer into Beijing’s orbit, while pursuing cozier ties with Thailand and Cambodia.

Not all the news was good for Beijing last year. For every story pointing to Beijing’s growing clout on the world stage, there was another pointing to its inner weakness and economic instability. Over the course of the year, Chinese leaders found themselves coping with asset bubbles, massive capital flight, politically driven investment boondoggles, pension shortfalls, brain drain, and a turbulent bond market. The instinctual response of the Chinese leadership, more often than not, was for greater state intervention in the economy, while Xi sidelined reformers and consolidated his power. These signs do not suggest confidence in the soundness of China’s economic model.

And despite the gains made from flexing its military muscle, there have been real costs to China’s aggressive posture. In 2016, Vietnam militarized its own outposts in the South China Sea as it watched China do the same. Indonesia began to pick sides against China, staging a large-scale exercise in China-claimed waters. Japan and South Korea agreed to cooperate on intelligence sharing—largely in response to the threat from North Korea, but also, implicitly, as they both warily watch a rising Beijing. And India bolstered its military presence in the Indian Ocean in response to China’s ongoing “string of pearls” strategy to project power there. For all its power, then, China is also engendering some serious pushback in its neighborhood.

The new year finds China in an improved position but also a precarious one, as its economic model falters and it seeks to break out of its geopolitical straitjacket.

2. Japan (tie)

Here at TAI we have long argued that Japan is a perennially underrated global power whose influence has been steadily increasing over the past few years. 2016 saw that trend continue, thanks to smart diplomacy from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a widespread anxiety over China’s aggression that drove many of its neighbors toward greater cooperation with Tokyo.

In 2016, Japan continued to be at the forefront of opposition to China, pushing back against Chinese incursions and pursuing partnerships with other Asian states that are similarly troubled by China’s rise. In its own neighborhood, in the East China Sea, Japan upped its deterrence posture and announced plans to deploy a tactical ballistic missile shield. Tokyo also took a firmer stance on the South China Sea dispute (to which it is not a party) as it sought to rally claimants who are similarly fed up with China’s aggression. The threat from North Korea also strengthened Japan, allowing Tokyo and Seoul to find common ground on missile defense and an intelligence-sharing pact that infuriated Beijing. Farther abroad, Japan inked a landmark civil nuclear deal with India and continued to lay the groundwork for a promising partnership with New Delhi.

Not every Japanese initiative paid off: despite much hoopla about the Putin-Abe summit, Japan made little headway with Russia in their decades-old islands dispute. But on the whole, Abe can claim a remarkably successful year in foreign policy. Abe’s nationalist outlook and push for Japanese remilitarization remain controversial at home, but his record-high approval ratings and the ongoing reality of Chinese aggression have vindicated him for now.

America’s erratic course in the Pacific created both problems and opportunities for Japan. Obama’s dithering, Trump’s irascibility, and the collapse of American support for TPP meant that both friends and rivals became wary of an increasingly unpredictable United States. America’s unsteady course pushed Japan toward a more visible leadership role in the region, and Japan’s role in the construction of a maritime alliance to balance China took on a much higher profile than before. Japanese nationalists welcomed the country’s newly assertive regional stance, but they worried about the reliability of Japan’s most important ally.

On the economic front, Japan’s year was less successful. Economic growth continued to be sluggish for much of 2016, despite a better-than-expected third quarter. The demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was another setback, dealing a blow to Japan’s economic strategy and its efforts to contain China. Still, Japan remains the world’s third-largest economy, and it shrewdly wielded its financial clout in countries like Myanmar and Sri Lanka as it sought to counter China’s checkbook diplomacy. All in all, Japan in 2016 continued to prove its mettle, acting not only as a powerful balance against China but as a major power in its own right.

4. Russia

Russia rose in our power rankings this year as Vladimir Putin continued to punch above his weight, defying predictions of economic collapse and military quagmire. The country once dismissed by President Obama as a “regional power” acting out of weakness ran circles around the United States in Syria, held its ground in Ukraine, weathered an economic storm at home, watched cracks widen in the European Union, and inserted itself into the heart of the American presidential election.

Putin scored both tactical and symbolic victories in Syria, allowing Assad to retake Aleppo while repeatedly humiliating the United States in the process. Russia’s ability to sideline the U.S. in post-Aleppo peace talks only confirmed that Russia, not the U.S., has become the major power broker in the county. Meanwhile, Putin’s reconciliation with Erdogan, NATO’s most estranged ally, positions Russia well to drive a wedge between Turkey and the West while laying the groundwork for a favorable settlement in Syria.

Closer to home, Russian troops continued to forestall any lasting peace in Ukraine, rendering any talk of EU or NATO integration a moot point. Russia-friendly leaders were elected in Georgia, Estonia, and Moldova, while the EU was buffeted by the shocks of Brexit, Eurosceptic populist insurgencies across the continent, and an ongoing stream of refugees, created in large part by Russia’s actions in Syria.

Putin’s fortunes took another upturn in November, when the United States elected Donald Trump, who has consistently promised to pursue friendlier ties with Moscow. The post-election uproar over Russia’s hacking of the DNC, and the dubious assertion that Trump will be Putin’s Manchurian candidate also played right into Putin’s hands, creating an impression that the all-powerful Putin holds the American electoral process in his hands.

When faced with these victories, it is worth remembering Russia’s many underlying weaknesses. Russia remains a weakly institutionalized state, subject to the whims of its strongman leader, and torn by long-simmering ethnic divisions and vast inequality. Its economy is resource-dependent and highly vulnerable to price shocks. Its military capabilities are laughably out of sync with the superpower image it attempts to project around the world. None of these realities changed this year, and all of them undermine Russia’s long-term potential as a great power. But 2016 showed that in a world of weak opponents, Russia can punch well above its weight. In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

5. Germany

Germany was ahead of Russia in last year’s power rankings. This year, their positions are reversed. Partly, this is because Putin had a good year; partly, it is because Germany, and Germany’s project in Europe, had a bad one.

As we wrote last year, Germany is locked in a long-term fight with Russia over the future direction of Europe. Germany wants a Europe in which European policies and laws are decided by EU institutions without outside interference. Germany’s dream is Russia’s nightmare; for hundreds of years Russia has had a say in almost every important question in Europe. Russia’s most important economic interests and, historically at any rate, its most important security concerns are European. The idea that a bunch of bureaucrats in Brussels can decide what rules Gazprom must obey, or how Russian minorities in the Baltic states are to be treated strikes many Russians (even many of Putin’s opponents) as unacceptable. Russia wants to be involved in European decision making about defense, about trade, about migration and about the Middle East. It wants a veto over NATO and EU expansion, and it wants a larger say in how these institutions work. It wants to bring power back into European politics, and to revive the old fashioned games of balance of power. Russia wants to tear down the edifice that Germany is trying to build.

In 2016, the wrecking ball gained on the construction crew. It wasn’t just the Brexit vote, though that vote was a profound shock to the European system and its rippling aftershocks continue to shake the foundations of the EU. There were also the continuing gains in public opinion polls of parties (both on the right and on the left) who oppose the current version of the European project in countries like France, Italy and the Netherlands—all among the six original founding members of the EU. It was the continuing rise to power of “illiberal democrats” in countries like Poland and Hungary. It was the continuing impasse over the euro and the corrosive fallout of the eurocrisis. It was the shock of Syrian and North African migrants, flocking into Europe and setting the EU countries against one another, even as Chancellor Merkel weakened her authority at home and abroad by a poorly thought out if warm hearted response to the crisis. It was the abrupt deterioration in EU-Turkish relations, and the painful realization in Brussels and Berlin that the EU will have to swallow its pride and concerns for human rights in order to prevent Turkey’s emerging strongman from blackmailing Europe with the threat of opening the floodgates for migration from Syria, Afghanistan and other troubled Islamic countries.

Europe was less united, less confident and less strong at the end of 2016 than it was at the beginning. With the election of Donald Trump, a man whose sympathies seem to lie more with the wrecking ball than with the construction crew, Europe’s prospects could darken still more. And with them, Germany’s clout could diminish further.

6. India

Like Japan, India is often overlooked in lists of the world’s great powers, but it occupies a rare and enviable position on the world stage. India is the world’s largest democracy, home to the second-largest English-speaking population in the world and boasting a diversified and rapidly growing economy. On the geopolitical front, India has many suitors: China, Japan and the United States are all seeking to incorporate India into their preferred Asian security architecture, while the EU and Russia court New Delhi for lucrative trade and defense agreements. Under the leadership of Narendra Modi, India has deftly steered its way among these competing powers while seeking to unleash its potential with modernizing economic reforms.

Not that Modi’s economic reforms are going all that well; the public backlash resulting from Modi’s hasty demonetization policy this year showcases the perils of overzealous reform. And India’s rapid growth trajectory has brought other crises that the government has been ill-equipped to address, India’s accelerating air pollution being the most visible example. Meanwhile, the escalation of the Kashmir conflict with Pakistan threatened to edge two bitterly opposed nuclear powers to the brink of war.

Despite these internal problems and the Pakistan scare, India found its footing elsewhere in 2016. Long hesitant to pick sides, New Delhi took several clear steps this year to deter a rising and aggressive China, announcing that it would fast-track its defense infrastructure projects in the Indian Ocean, amid fears that China was trying to encircle India with a “string of pearls.” Likewise, Modi explored new naval cooperation with both the United States and Japan, and signed a host of defense deals with Russia, France and Israel to modernize the Indian military. From the Middle East and East Africa to Southeast Asia, India is making its presence felt in both economics and security policy in ways that traditional great powers like Britain and France only wish they could match.

7. Iran

The proxy wars between Saudi Arabia and Iran continued unabated throughout 2016, and as we enter the new year Iran has confidently taken the lead. Saudi Arabia remains a formidable power, but it was Iran that pulled ahead in the last 12 months.

Throughout 2016, Iranian proxies were on the march across the Middle East, and the Shi’a Crescent seemed closer to reality than ever before. In Lebanon, Tehran rejoiced at the growing clout of Hezbollah and the election of Shi’a-friendly Michel Aoun, while the Saudis bitterly cut off aid in a sign of their diminishing influence in Beirut. And in Syria, Shiite militias helped to retake Aleppo and turn the tide for Assad. Iran was also gaining ground in Iraq. More disquieting than all this, from the Saudi perspective, were developments in Yemen. Iran-backed Houthi rebels took the fight to the Saudi-backed government in a war that has already claimed 10,000 lives.

Meanwhile, the fruits of the nuclear deal continued to roll in: high-profile deals with Boeing and Airbus sent the message that Iran was open for business, while Tehran rapidly ramped up its oil output to pre-sanctions levels.

2017 may be a more difficult year for Tehran; one of the mullahs’ most important assets, President Obama, is no longer in office and, as far as anybody can tell, the Trump administration seems more concerned about rebuilding ties with traditional American allies in the region than in continuing Obama’s attempt to reach an understanding with Iran.

8. Israel

This year there’s a new name on our list of the Eight Greats: Israel. A small country in a chaotic part of the world, Israel is a rising power with a growing impact on world affairs. Although 2016 saw the passage of yet another condemnation of Israel at the United Nations, this time in the Security Council thanks to an American decision to abstain rather than veto, overall the Jewish state continues to develop diplomatic, economic and military power and to insert itself into the heart of regional politics.

Three factors are powering Israel’s rise: economic developments, the regional crisis, and diplomatic ingenuity. Looking closely at these tells us something about how power works in the contemporary world.

The economic developments behind Israel’s new stature are partly the result of luck and location, and partly the result of smart choices. As to the luck and location factor, large, off-shore discoveries of natural gas and oil are turning Israel into an energy exporter. Energy self-sufficiency is a boost to Israel’s economy; energy exports boost Israel’s foreign policy clout. In 2016 Erdogan’s Turkey turned on most of its NATO and Western allies; ties with Israel strengthened. Turkey’s Islamist ruler wants gas, and he wants to limit Turkey’s dependence on Russia. Israel is part of the answer.

But beyond luck, Israel’s newfound clout on the world stage comes from the rise of industrial sectors and technologies that good Israeli schools, smart Israeli policies and talented Israeli thinkers and entrepreneurs have built up over many years. In particular, Israel’s decision to support the rise of a domestic cybersecurity and infotech economy has put Israel at the center of the ongoing revolution in military power based on the importance of information control and management to 21st century states. It is not just that private investors all over the world look to invest in Israel’s tech startups; access to Israeli technology (like the technology behind the Iron Dome missile system) matters to more and more countries. It’s not just America; India, China and Russia all want a piece of Israeli tech wizardry.

Other, less glamorous Israeli industries, like the irrigation, desalinization and dry land farming tech that water poor Israel has developed over the decades play their part. Israel’s diplomatic outreach to Africa and its deepening (and increasingly public) relationship with India benefit from Israel’s ability to deliver what people in other countries and governments want.

The second factor in Israel’s appearing on our list is the change in the Middle Eastern balance of power that has transformed Israel from a pariah state to a kingmaker. On the one hand, Syria, one of Israel’s most vociferous enemies and biggest security threats in the old days, has now been broken on the wheel. What has happened in Syria is a terrible human tragedy; but in the cold light of realpolitik the break up of Syria further entrenches Israel’s military supremacy in its immediate neighborhood. Egypt hates Hamas, ISIS and Islamic Jihad as much as Israel does; never has Egyptian-Israeli security cooperation been as close as it is today. Even more consequentially, the rise of Iran and its aspirations to regional hegemony on the one hand and the apparent support for its dreams from the Obama administration made Israel critical to the survival of the Sunni Arabs, including the Gulf states, who loathe Iran and fear a Shia victory in the religious conflict now raging across the Middle East. The Arab Establishment today has two frightening enemies: radical jihadi groups like ISIS on one side, and Iran on the other. Israel has a mix of intelligence and military capabilities that can help keep the regional balance stable; privately and even not so privately many prominent Arab officials today will say that Israeli support is necessary for the survival of Arab independence.

Finally, Israel has managed, uncharacteristically, to advance its global political agenda through effective and even subtle diplomacy. Just as Israel was able to strengthen its relationship with Turkey even as Turkish-U.S. and Turkish EU relations grew distant, Israel has been able to build a realistic and fruitful relationship with Russia despite Russia’s standoff with the west over Ukraine, and Russia’s ties with Iran. The deepening Israel-India relationship has also required patience and skill. Israel’s diplomatic breakthroughs in relations with African countries who have been hostile to Israel since the 1967 war were also built through patient and subtle diplomacy, often working behind the scenes. That behind-the-scenes outreach diplomacy has also helped Israel achieve new levels of contact and collaboration with many Arab countries.

It is not, of course, all sweetness and light. Hezbollah has tens of thousands of missiles aimed at Israel and, thanks to Iran’s victories in Syria, it can now enjoy much more reliable supplies from its patron. The Palestinian Question is as far from a solution as possible, and even as they fragment and squabble among themselves, the Palestinians continue to fight for Israel’s delegitimation in the UN and elsewhere. Israeli politics are as volatile and bitter as ever. The kaleidoscopic nature of Middle East politics means that  today’s hero can be tomorrow’s goat. While the breakdown of regional order has so far been a net positive for Israel’s security and power, things could change fast. In ISIS coup in Saudi Arabia, the collapse of Jordan, the fall of the Sisi government in Egypt: it is not hard to come up with scenarios that would challenge Israel in new and dangerous ways.

Former President Obama and his outgoing Secretary of State, John Kerry (neither widely regarded these days as a master of geopolitics), frequently warned Israel that its policies were leaving it isolated and vulnerable. This is to some degree true: European diplomats, American liberals and many American Jews are much less sympathetic to Israel today than they have been in the past. Future Israeli leaders may have to think hard about rebuilding links with American Democrats and American Jews.

But for now at least, Israel can afford to ignore the dismal croaking of the outgoing American administration. One of a small handful of American allies to be assiduously courted by the Trump campaign, Israel begins 2017 as the keystone of a regional anti-Iran alliance, a most-favored-nation in the White House, and a country that enjoys good relations with all of the world’s major powers bar Iran. Teodor Herzl would be astonished to see what his dream has grown into; David Ben-Gurion would be astounded by the progress his poor and embattled nation has made.

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8 commentaires pour Trump: L’improbable champion d’une revanche des bouseux que personne n’avait vu venir (How a lifelong New Yorker became tribune of the rustics and deplorables)

  1. jcdurbant dit :

    WHAT COUNTRY ARE WE LIVING IN ?

    “The elite media got it dead wrong, 100 percent dead wrong. This election is a humiliating defeat that they will never wash away, that will always be there. The mainstream media has not fired or terminated anyone associated with following our campaign. Look at the Twitter feeds of those people: They were outright activists of the Clinton campaign. That’s why you have no power.”

    Steve Bannon

    “What country are we living in?”

    Christiane Amanpour (CNN)

    J'aime

  2. jcdurbant dit :

    Quand Marianne se réveillait …

    Le réel, c’est un pays en proie à la plus grave menace d’éclatement social et culturel depuis les années 30. Le réel, c’est une explosion sans précédent des inégalités. Le réel, c’est l’abîme qui sépare les privilégiés et les élites mondialisées. Le réel, ce sont des usines fermées, des entreprises délocalisées, des emplois raréfiés, des salariés déprimés, et des électeurs frustrés.

    Le réel, c’est une immigration massive (11 millions de clandestins sans doits et sous-payés !) encouragée par le patronat pour accentuer le dumping social et la guerre des pauvres contre les pauvres. Le réel, c’est le bide de l’ère Obama à l’exception de l’Obamacare, qui a joué de son image pour faire oublier un bilan se ramenant à un grand vide. Le réel, c’est le rejet de la famille Clinton, considérée à tort ou à raison comme le symbole de l’entre-soi, de l’arrivisme et du copinage. Le réel, enfin, c’est un candidat qui a surfé sur toute ces frustrations pour l’emporter alors qu’il est lui-même le représentant type de l’Amérique du fric.
    Clinton, un discours convenu et rejeté

    Le réel, c’est un Donald Trump que l’on a réduit à ses propres outrances – ce qui n’est guère compliqué – en oubliant que sur nombre de sujets (la folie du libre-échange, les délocalisations, la misère ouvrière, le rejet de l’élite), il a su développer une démagogie d’autant plus efficace qu’en face, Hillary Clinton s’est contentée de reprendre un discours convenu, attendu et rejeté. Cette dernière est même allée jusqu’à traiter les électeurs de Trump de personnes « pitoyables », étalant ainsi un mépris de classe qui n’a sans doute pas été pour rien dans sa déroute.

    Et voilà comment on en est arrivé à un résultat que les experts en tout et en rien n’ont pas vu venir, car eux-mêmes vivent dans une bulle. Tout comme ils ont été incapables de prévoir le Brexit, ou quelques années plus tôt la victoire du non au traité constitutionnel européen en 2005, il était inconcevable à leurs yeux qu’un homme aussi détestable que Donald Trump puisse l’emporter. Toutes proportions gardées, c’est la même cécité qui les conduit à ne rien comprendre au phénomène Le Pen en France, lequel n’est pas sans analogie avec l’effet Trump. Face à la colère qui conduit nombre de citoyens déboussolés à se tourner vers le FN, ils se contentent encore trop souvent de condamnations morales, sans prendre en compte un mouvement de fond qui se joue des barrières de la diabolisation. Mieux vaudrait s’en apercevoir avant qu’il ne soit trop tard.

    http://www.marianne.net/pourquoi-ils-n-ont-rien-compris-au-phenomene-donald-trump-100247707.html

    J'aime

  3. jcdurbant dit :

    HARDER THAN IT SEEMS

    “Democratic voters aren’t where the party needs them right now. You can look at the women’s march, which drew gigantic crowds in D.C. Boston, San Francisco, L.A., Chicago. Guess what, Democrats already hold all the seats there.”

    David Wasserman

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/congress/article131538924.html

    J'aime

  4. jcdurbant dit :

    En Europe comme aux Etats-Unis, la contestation émerge sur les territoires les plus éloignés des métropoles mondialisées. La « France périphérique » est celle des petites villes, des villes moyennes et des zones rurales. En Grande-Bretagne, c’est aussi la « Grande-Bretagne périphérique » qui a voté pour le Brexit.

    Attention : il ne s’agit pas d’un rapport entre « urbains » et « ruraux ». La question est avant tout sociale, économique et culturelle. Ces territoires illustrent la sortie de la classe moyenne des catégories qui en constituaient hier le socle : ouvriers, employés, petits paysans, petits indépendants. Ces catégories ont joué le jeu de la mondialisation, elles ont même au départ soutenu le projet européen. Cependant, après plusieurs décennies d’adaptation aux normes de l’économie-monde, elles font le constat d’une baisse ou d’une stagnation de leur niveau de vie, de la précarisation des conditions de travail, du chômage de masse et, in fine, du blocage de l’ascenseur social.

    Sans régulation d’un libre-échange qui défavorise prioritairement ces catégories et ces territoires, le processus va se poursuivre. C’est pourquoi la priorité est de favoriser le développement d’un modèle économique complémentaire (et non alternatif) sur ces territoires qui cumulent fragilités socio-économiques et sédentarisation des populations. Cela suppose de donner du pouvoir et des compétences aux élus et collectivités de ces territoires.

    En adoptant le système économique mondialisé, les pays développés ont accouché de son modèle sociétal : le multiculturalisme. En la matière, la France n’a pas fait mieux (ni pire) que les autres pays développés. Elle est devenue une société américaine comme les autres, avec ses tensions et ses paranoïas identitaires.

    Il faut insister sur le fait que sur ces sujets, il n’y a pas d’un côté ceux qui seraient dans l’ouverture et de l’autre ceux qui seraient dans le rejet. Si les catégories supérieures et éduquées ne basculent pas dans le populisme, c’est parce qu’elles ont les moyens de la frontière invisible avec l’Autre. Ce sont d’ailleurs elles qui pratiquent le plus l’évitement scolaire et résidentiel. La question du rapport à l’autre n’est donc pas seulement posée pour les catégories populaires.

    Poser cette question comme universelle – et qui touche toutes les catégories sociales – est un préalable si l’on souhaite faire baisser les tensions. Cela implique de sortir de la posture de supériorité morale que les gens ne supportent plus. J’avais justement conçu la notion d’insécurité culturelle pour montrer que, notamment en milieu populaire, ce n’est pas tant le rapport à l’autre qui pose problème qu’une instabilité démographique qui induit la peur de devenir minoritaire et de perdre un capital social et culturel très important. Une peur qui concerne tous les milieux populaires, quelles que soient leurs origines. C’est en partant de cette réalité qu’il convient de penser la question du multiculturalisme.

    Christophe Guilluy

    http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2017/01/05/christophe-guilluy-sortir-de-la-posture-de-superiorite-morale_5058089_3232.html

    J'aime

  5. jcdurbant dit :

    Au secours ! La gauche revient !

    «Qu’il y ait derrière une instrumentalisation de cette affaire, sur des choses qui peuvent d’ailleurs être réelles, ça m’apparaît évident. Il suffit de voir la célérité avec laquelle sont menées toutes ces enquêtes» pour en être convaincu. On n’est pas complètement naïf, on n’est pas complètement dupes (…) C’est la démonstration qu’il y a peut-être des intérêts derrière (…) On sait très bien que les affaires sont une façon de salir les politiques, de les empêtrer là-dedans, d’empêcher d’aller sur le fond. Il y a un risque que la gauche revienne au pouvoir.Ceux qui pensent qu’il mènerait une politique radicalement différente que ce que la gauche a mené ces dernières années se trompent.(…) On dit qu’Emmanuel Macron n’a pas de programme, mais il a en réalité un programme très clair: c’est plus d’immigration, c’est l’apologie du multiculturalisme, c’est un candidat qui dit qu’il n’y a pas de culture française, c’est quelqu’un qui veut libéraliser totalement les services publics et l’économie en général, qui est a priori plutôt libertaire sur les questions sociétales type GPA, PMA, mariage homosexuel.»

    Marion Maréchal-Le Pen

    http://www.lefigaro.fr/elections/presidentielles/2017/02/12/35003-20170212ARTFIG00167-marion-marechal-le-pen-il-y-a-une-instrumentalisation-de-l-affaire.php

    J'aime

  6. jcdurbant dit :

    HURRAH FOR HALEY !

    I am here to underscore to the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. I am here to emphasize that the United States is determined to stand up to the U.N.’s anti-Israel bias.”

    Nikki Haley

    All this was going on while the press was questioning President Trump on what he was going to do about anti-Semitism. If his ambassador to the world body is any example, the answer is plenty. She has the principles of a Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the grit of a John Bolton, and the star power of a Jeane Kirkpatrick, and in her first press briefing she certainly made her point…

    http://www.nysun.com/editorials/haleys-comet/89905/

    J'aime

  7. jcdurbant dit :

    What America watches on television and on the silver screen is created either in Los Angeles or New York. The nation’s world-ranked Ivy League and West Coast universities are almost all in blue America. Wall Street, Silicon Valley and the preeminent financial institutions are likewise centered in urban corridors. The federal government operates in the progressive culture of Washington, D.C. (…). The result was that when Trump, the outsider without political experience, appeared as a hammer, rural America apparently was more than happy to throw him into the glass of the bicoastal establishment, without worrying too much about the shards that scattered.(…) Voters in key swing states got tired of being talked down to — as if their views on illegal immigration, abortion, identity politics, fracking, campus speech codes and the environment were the result of ignorance (or being deplorable and irredeemable) rather than due to honest differences of opinion and quite different life experiences from those of big city-dwellers. Red-state America felt that those who lectured about the dangers of school choice often seemed to put their own kids in private academies. Those who insisted that open borders were good for the country never seemed to live in neighborhoods side by side with undocumented immigrants. Walls on the border were proof of ignorant xenophobia; gates and walls around private tony residences were logical measures to ensure security. (…) Fairly or not, for the hinterland, the election became a referendum between crude authenticity and polished hypocrisy. In 2016, rural America finally pushed back. And not just its conservatives and Republicans. Millions of exasperated red-state Democrats, union members and a displaced middle class sought change through a reckless and unknown outsider rather than more of the same from their own all too familiar and predictable insider.

    Victor Davis Hanson (August 7, 2016)

    http://victorhanson.com/wordpress/why-the-central-valley-votes-more-conservative/#more-9902

    J'aime

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