January 25, 2017


The Democrats' Rise Is Far From Inevitable (Megan McArdle, 1/24/17, Bloomberg View)

Why are the left's public demonstrations more impressive than its voter turnout? Because there are a whole lot of Democrats in the large population centers where such demonstrations are generally held. People can join a protest simply by getting on the subway; it's an easy show of force.

But there are a lot of small towns in America, and as Sean Trende and David Byler recently demonstrated, those small towns are redder than ever. Effectively, the Democratic coalition has self-gerrymandered into a small number of places where they can turn out an impressive number of feet on the ground, but not enough votes to win the House. Certainly not enough to win the Senate or the Electoral College, which both favor sparsely populated states and discount the increasingly dense parts of the nation.

The Senate map in 2018 is brutal for Democrats. If Democrats want to get their mojo back, they're going to need to do more than get a small minority of voters to turn out for a march. They're going to need to get back some of those rural votes.

To do that, they're probably going to have to let go of the most soul-satisfying, brain-melting political theory of the last two decades: that Democrats are inevitably the Party of the Future, guaranteed ownership of the future by an emerging Democratic majority in minority-white America. This theory underlay a lot of Obama's presidency, and Clinton's campaign. With President Trump's inauguration on Friday, we saw the results.

The Democrats emerging advantage was that in a society of "self-sufficient" workers and government-funded non- or low-wage workers they were the party of the latter.   It's why married women are Republicans while single women are Democrats.

The problem is that technology and globalization are advancing so fast that the GOP is going to be forced to be a party of the latter too.  (Once white men aren't employed it is no longer a pathology to be tutted about but a problem to be dealt with by government.) 

In a contest to see which party can deliver benefits more generously, efficiently and cost-effectively, we all know that the market-oriented party has the advantage.  For instance, given a choice between citizen enriching universal HSAs; insurance company enriching Obamacare; and National Health, the GOP has an easy sell.


Posted by at January 25, 2017 6:12 AM