What Trump Exposed About the GOP

Read Original Article
Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock.com
Media Outlet: The New York Times

Mark Schmitt wrote for the New York Times about how the political divide between parties has shifted from ideology to identity:

The election of Donald J. Trump will bring as sharp a turn to the right as this country has seen since at least the election of Ronald Reagan — thanks mainly to the rare conservative control of Congress, the presidency and, before long, the Supreme Court.

But in a strange and unforeseeable way his campaign and election mark the end of the era in which American politics is defined by ideological conflict.

Ever since the election of Reagan 36 years ago, American politics has been marked by profound ideological division, increasing polarization and often paralysis. The ideologically coherent and often unyielding conservative movement represented the dominant theme, while liberals (many of whom wouldn’t even use that word) struggled to find a pitch as clear and appealing as the right’s message of lower taxes, smaller government and strong defense.

The election of 2016 is the culmination of this ideological era, but ironically reveals its hollowness. The politics of 2016 breaks entirely along lines of identity: first race or ethnicity, followed by gender, level of education, urbanization and age.

Author:

Mark Schmitt is director of the program on Political Reform at New America.