by James A. Bacon
The latest Virginia Public Access Project data for the 2019 electoral cycle shows a surge in campaign donations to Democratic Party candidates. The gap is dramatic — and unprecedented in recent Virginia politics. The big question: Are we seeing a fundamental realignment of politics parties and voting blocs in Virginia, or is this an aberration arising from an anti-Trump backlash that will recede when Trump retires (or is expelled from office)?
There is a growing body of thought that “Trumpism” will survive Trump, not because people are enamored with the president’s grating personality but because the underlying social/cultural conflicts that gave rise to Trump will endure. In this interpretation, to which I subscribe, Trumpism is a manifestation of the new class divide.
Democrats predominate among high-income Virginians who derive their wealth from the “new” economy that is supplanting the “old” money associated with more conservative political and cultural views. Democrats also predominate among the educated elite that increasingly dominates the state’s cultural institutions — media, universities, schools, museums, and the arts. This new intelligentsia champions the poor and oppressed in its rhetoric (although the consequences of elite-driven policies, as I have repeatedly shown, is often destructive to the poor). The new elite blames the greatest ills of society (racism, sexism, homophobia) on the benighted blue-collar and middle classes. Working- and middle-class Americans with traditional values react negatively and feel alienated. Not surprisingly, this demographic constitute Trump’s most loyal supporters
I have only just begun to explore this new paradigm for interpreting the political economy of Virginia and the United States. Perhaps I am making too much of short-term trends. That’s why I like to cast my propositions in the form of hypotheses to be confirmed or falsified by the data. If my interpretation is an accurate reflection of what is happening in Virginia, the Democratic Party fund-raising advantage in this electoral cycle is not a fluke. It will prove to be enduring. If I’m wrong, fund-raising will revert to the old equilibrium.
We’ll see.There are currently no comments highlighted.