I greatly enjoyed your column and learned from it, but if I may, I’d like to offer a measure of constructive criticism.
Your article offered a thorough and accurate explanation of what has happened and is continuing to happen, but it did not address the why. I’m fairly certain you’re aware that the New York Times recently published an article concerning a study of why whites voted for Trump, and the study found that many did so not because of the issues so much as their fear of losing status.
In my opinion, however, I believe that the NYT article does not go far enough. I believe this dynamic is present in every nation, that in every nation there is one socioeconomically-dominant demographic (whether that demographic is racial, ethnic, or religious), and when that demographic begins to believe (rightly or wrongly) that its dominance is threatened by a “lesser” demogrpahic, it will react so as to preserve its dominance. In America, the socioeconomically-dominant demographic are white Anglo-Saxon protestants (WASPs). From my article:
In 2006, the Republican-led Congress voted to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act almost in lockstep. Then, after President Obama was elected, all of a sudden we start seeing conservative whites marching and carrying signs saying, “we want our country back!”. We also began seeing polls where most Republicans agreed that President Obama was not born in America, and the man who was the single most vocal birther is our president today. What’s more, after the election of President Obama, the GOP suddenly began to oppose the Voting Rights Act — again, almost in lockstep. The GOP went from completely-supporting to completely- opposing the Voting Rights Act in less than five years…and they cheered when the conservative-led Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. This, then, is a prime example of a socioeconomically-dominant demographic feeling threatened (rightly or wrongly) and then taking measures to preserve its dominance.
That, I believe, is the ‘why’ that underlay the ‘what’ of your article. The WASPs perceive a growing threat to their socioeconomic dominance, and as can be seen by the GOP’s whiplash-inducing shifts on policies concerning both Russia and our federal budget deficit, the Right is caring far less about policy than about the preservation of the status quo ante. It is no longer about policy, but about race.
P.S. I must admit that the first time I’m aware of that this dynamic was identified was by Public Enemy’s album, Fear of a Black Planet.