Friday, December 07, 2018

Political Realignment in the 2018 Elections? The Declining Appeal of Trump's Authoritarian Populism, The Resurgence of Liberal Enlightenment

The 1st Congressional District of South Carolina, based in Charleston, has been held by Republicans since 1981.  Since 2013, it has been held by Mark Sanford.  But when he ran for reelection this year, he was defeated in the Republican primary by Katie Arrington, who had been endorsed by Donald Trump, who wanted to punish Sanford for criticizing him.  Trump bragged that this showed how any Republican who was not loyal to him would be defeated.  Arrington's campaign was based mostly on her being pro-Trump.  But she lost to Democrat Joe Cunningham.

Orange County in California has been known ever since the Reagan years as a conservative bastion for the Republican party.  Now, as a result of the 2018 elections, all of the congressional seats based in Orange County will be held by Democrats.

Across the country, as of now, the Democrats have gained 40 seats in the House of Representatives, which gives them control of the House.

Trump's supporters have tried to explain this as just the normal pattern in which the President's party loses seats in midterm elections.  But this ignores the fact that this is the biggest gain for the Democrats in a midterm election since they gained 48 seats in 1974, in the aftermath of Watergate and Nixon's resignation.  It also ignores the fact that the Democrats would have gained over 50 seats without Republican gerrymandering in states like Ohio and North Carolina.

What's going on here?  In the months leading up to the elections, Trump chose to push trade wars and anti-immigration as his signature issues that would mobilize his base to vote for Trump Republicans.  He sent military troops to the southern border to stop the "invasion" of America by a caravan of criminal and terrorist immigrants from Central America.  Consequently, Trump turned these elections into a referendum on his xenophobic authoritarian populism.  The defeat of so many Trump Republicans must be seen, therefore, as evidence that Trump's illiberal populism is not really that popular, and that we could be seeing the beginning of a political realignment in which Trump's Republican Party will be destroyed.

Consider, for example, the race for the 39th Congressional District in Orange County.  This was the second most expensive House race in the country, with $34.6 million in total campaign spending.  Gil Cisneros, a Hispanic American, defeated Young Kim, a Korean immigrant.  The 39th is one of the nation's most diverse congressional districts, where two-thirds of all residents are minorities, and one-fourth of the registered voters are foreign-born.  Repeatedly, Cisneros told foreign-born residents: "The Republican agenda is anti-immigration."  Kim was forced to try to separate herself from Trump's xenophobic rhetoric, but she failed.

Consider, also, the race for the 48th Congressional District in Orange County.  In one of the most solidly Republican districts in the country, Democrat Harley Rouda defeated Dana Rohrabacher, who has held this House seat for 30 years.  Rohrabacher campaigned as a staunch Trumpist with a hard-line anti-illegal immigration platform.  He accused Rouda of favoring open borders that would allow illegal immigrants to threaten the physical and economic security of Americans in Orange County.  This Trumpist rhetoric failed to sway the majority of the voters.

If Trump's Republicans cannot win in places like Charleston, South Carolina, and Orange County, California, they're in real trouble.

As I have indicated in some previous posts (herehere, and here), the electoral support for illiberal populists like Trump must decline over time, because of the enduring appeal of the libertarian values of the Liberal Enlightenment.  Trump supporters have been motivated by a cultural backlash: less educated older white rural voters cannot accept the Liberal Enlightenment humanism of the urban ethnically pluralist society favored by younger educated voters, but this cultural backlash can never win over a solid majority of the electorate.  The failure of Trump's rhetoric of trade wars and anti-immigration xenophobia in the 2018 elections illustrates this: most Americans believe that the global freedom of movement of goods and people across borders is generally beneficial for most of us, and they do not believe that the greatness of America depends on white ethnic nationalism.

The improvement in the human condition that has come from liberal open societies over the past 100 years is so evident that even those who think they are illiberal conservatives in the tradition of the Counter-Enlightenment are not really that illiberal.  I have argued that point with respect not only to American critics of liberalism like Patrick Deneen and Rod Dreher, but also French critics of liberalism like Marion Marechal-Le Pen.  If you look carefully at what they are saying, they all turn out to be liberal conservatives who reject the illiberal conservatism of those like Joseph de Maistre.

8 comments:

Salden said...

I wonder how you reconcile your babble with the failure of the Civil Rights Movement (see the rise of Black Felon Lives Matter, continuing White Flight around America) and really the behavior of non-Whites around the world (Japanese rejection of immigration even with the state of their breeding, the collapse of the Muslim World's multiethnic regimes once stripped of strongmen to maintain themselves).


The behavior of modern Europeans, rather than backing up your denial of the importance of race in organization, really speaks of both the White Man's difference from the other races and deep pathology in the White Man. Do you see proper Negroes (read: not your rare Negro who can act White) refusing to put their race above other races? Mestizos? Have you even been watching how Negroes and Mestizos vote (such as voting for candidates who are of their race or can be trusted to serve its interests)? See:

https://thealternativehypothesis.org/index.php/2018/08/10/on-non-white-republicans/

Read that page with others on it and the owner's videos also.

Salden said...

Here's a tip for you Bugman: Go look up "White Flight."

Larry Arnhart said...

Are you suggesting that Trump's populism is actually white nationalism, and that when he denies this, he is lying?

I have argued for the biological reality of race (for example, the post on September 23, 2014). But I have also argued against the alt-right and ethnic nationalism (for example, on August 24, 2016 and May 11, 2016).

Salden said...

> Are you suggesting that Trump's populism is actually white nationalism, and that when he denies this, he is lying?

Who cares? Trump never hid being a Zionist shill. He's controlled opposition so that Whites in America who are fed up with the rotting state of America (women act trashy, Negroes are acting feral now that they don't have to worry Whitey lynching them if they misbehave, hordes of Pablos are pouring across the border, White/White Male Hatred encouraged through the education "system" and entertainment) post-WW2 don't do something to actually threaten the system telling them to cuck themselves.

>I have argued for the biological reality of race (for example, the post on September 23, 2014). But I have also argued against the alt-right and ethnic nationalism (for example, on August 24, 2016 and May 11, 2016).

You would be in denial of non-White behavior ("How many immigrants has Japan accepted again?"). Even among Whites, the likes of Italians were never actually integrated in the way progressives/bugman like you try to spin it. See:

https://thealternativehypothesis.org/index.php/2018/08/10/ethnic-diversity-and-social-cohesion-a-critique/

https://thealternativehypothesis.org/index.php/2018/08/10/the-myth-of-european-assimilation/

Larry Arnhart said...

As I have indicated in my post, Trump turned the midterm congressional elections into a referendum on his xenophobic anti-immigration policies, and he lost the referendum--with the Republicans suffering the worst losses in the House since 1974. So it seems that most of the voters in this election disagree with you.

Larry Arnhart said...

You are certainly correct that many people in the United States and around the world agree with you in your xenophobic racism, and they will vote for authoritarian populists. My point, however, is that the success of the Liberal Enlightenment is manifest in the fact that these people constitute a dwindling minority. The testable prediction of my position is that Trump's Republicans will continue to suffer electoral losses, particularly when Trump becomes strident in his xenophobic rhetoric.

Salden said...

>As I have indicated in my post, Trump turned the midterm congressional elections into a referendum on his xenophobic anti-immigration policies, and he lost the referendum--with the Republicans suffering the worst losses in the House since 1974. So it seems that most of the voters in this election disagree with you.

Try controlling for race and sex. Non-Fag, Non-Cuck, White Men stand more with Trump than they do with any other candidate since he at least pretends to be concerned for them. Kunta Kinte, Gonzalez, and Achmed not surprisingly vote for the candidates who'll get them gibs and help them war on Whitey.

>You are certainly correct that many people in the United States and around the world agree with you in your xenophobic racism, and they will vote for authoritarian populists.

>My point, however, is that the success of the Liberal Enlightenment is manifest in the fact that these people constitute a dwindling minority.

I didn't know Achmeds and Congo Rats agreed with the Liberal Enlightenment. Or that White Flight magically stopped and Whites were choosing to mass move into Detroit. Do I have to bring up Japan's rejection of immigration still (don't bring up TFR, that can rebound)?

The key point of failure in your posting is that you pretend what you call "Liberal Enlightenment" isn't an ideology that really has more honest appeal to some populations over others. With other populations not having the pedigree to honestly embrace it (compare Jewish nepotism in higher education and Jewish behavior in Israel with Jewish advocacy of "progressive" politics).

> The testable prediction of my position is that Trump's Republicans will continue to suffer electoral losses, particularly when Trump becomes strident in his xenophobic rhetoric.

So what. Trump would have never been allowed to get elected if he posed a threat to Da System or even tried to be such threat. He's nothing more than an old-school Democrat who's desperate for approval from "old-money" and be seen as "cool" by the likes of Tyrone Jamal. A Jay Gabsy. Or just an old man who never stopped his midlife crisis.

He didn't stop his daughter from marrying a Jew. Or stop her yakking about how American needs to let in Rapeugees. He's never advocated for segregation and is friends with a murderous monkey called Mike Tyson. Trump, no matter how much you or his shills might hope to be the next Hitler are fooling yourselves. He's just a Decades Ago Democrat.

Larry Arnhart said...

Even Donald Trump is not racist enough or anti-Semitic enough for you? Does that mean that you belong to a tiny minority? If so, have you considered that that confirms my point that xenophobic racism is a losing position today?