This…..is not your best article, Nick. It’s loaded with false choices, oversimplifications, gross generalizations, and liberal narratives presented as fact.
I understand the need to process the “Trump Phenomena” in real time. But I don’t think you get there by viewing Trump as the cause of a populist movement; the populist movement’s been going on for some time. Trump’s a result, not a cause.
Let’s use minimum wage as an example. As we all know, the politicians have been gridlocked on this one for decades. So….what happened? Corporations, noteably Costco but now even Wal Mart, and local governments, counties, cities and states…..all got tired of waiting and acted on their own.
When you have a government that is unresponsive to the concerns of the people in power for a long period of time (the last two presidents from each party who were people-oriented rather than system-oriented were Reagan and LBJ, in my view) populism arises, pulling priorities from both sides of the political spectrum, and demands solutions. This threatens the establishment politicians (Bush, McCain, Clinton — after all, Sanders is a populist, too) and the ideologues (Flake) who become notably disturbed that the nation is not in line with their (in this case) globalist/neocon/ideological thinking.
It’s rather easy to understand, actually; no need for all this “Apartist/Togetherist” nonsense…..which doesn’t work at all. Sanders voters are no different from “right-wing apartists” when it comes to their views on globalism, broad international trade agreements, and the like.
If there’s actually a populist re-alignment out there, and it appears that there is….I’d suggest to you that if it drives policies which are focused on the standard of living of the average American, then it’s all good. The Bushes and the McCains will continue to whine as the focus blurs from their own policy preferences, and while the Flakes bemoan this new lack of ideological purity, some of them will take their ball and go home, while others of them will stay engaged to insure that populist priorities are crafted responsibly and Constitutionally.
It will be intriguing to see how all this plays out.