I remember back in 2016 at some point I found Chris Arnade’s twitter feed and that’s one of the things that made me think Trump had a chance of winning the election no matter how sure the media establishment was that he couldn’t.
Just as interesting as Arnade’s verbalization of the disaffection in left-behind America was the progressive reaction to it (and toward the people he was showing and writing about). It seemed like raw hatred, they didn’t want to know these people existed and they resented both the people themselves and Arnade for reminding them that they haven’t all died out yet.
And… that’s pretty much where the democratic mainstream still is. In early debates candidates seem mostly concerned about rehashing identity grievances from decades ago and in competing for who can do the most for illegal aliens. A review of Arnade’s book by Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution suggests that alcohol and drugs (not the neoliberal policies he favors) are the real culprit and these feckless losers should start emulating muslim immigrants. Tucker Carlson seems to be about the only media voice suggesting that identity trivia and even more economic dislocation are what the country needs most but he’s not a democrat.
Trump isn’t doing a very good job (not completely awful but is running a solid C- which is nothing to brag about) but that might be enough considering how determined the democrats are to self-destruct.