Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Some Good from Trump?

Whatever else happens in the next four years, Trump's election and administration will act like a bowling ball (no, not a gutter ball), knocking the pins around and disturbing past patterns.  Any change of political party does that, but he will do so more.  In that sense, voters who wanted "change" will get it.

What do I mean:  take the farm bill, for example.  For decades it's been an omnibus that served the interests of those liberals who wanted food stamps (SNAP), the greenies who wanted conservation, and production agriculture who wanted farm programs and insurance.  This alliance has been stressed at times, most recently in the House during the consideration of the last farm bill.  This time around is likely to see more changes.

Another example: it looks as if the intra-party coalitions which comprise both parties are under strain. The Democrats are debating whether to change the Clinton/Obama formula to be more aggressively liberal and perhaps more class-conscious, a direction which may lessen their support from the professional upper classes.  The Republican coalition of fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, libertarians is now figuring out whether it can accommodate a renewed appeal to the "Reagan Democrats".  IMO the original Reagan Democrats tended to be Catholic working class who left the Democrats as a result of social issues, mostly abortion, and resentment of blacks. The new working class seems to be more populist in tone, which doesn't work well with Wall Street Republicans.

So if Trump is successful as a change agent, does that mean he'll be successful as a President.  My answer--no.  But are these changes "good"?  I'd resist that term; rather I'd say the changes are somewhat inevitable.  We shall see.

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