Democrats should thank Trump

The Week (US) - - 12 News - Ross Douthat

The New York Times

Democrats were very un­lucky in the 2016 elec­tion, said Ross Douthat, but “in most re­spects lib­er­al­ism and the Demo­cratic Party have been very lucky since.” With the econ­omy boom­ing, ISIS largely de­feated, and ter­ror­ism con­tained, Don­ald Trump should have ap­proval rat­ings in at least the high 40s. But he’s been his own worst enemy. Imag­ine an al­ter­na­tive re­al­ity in which Trump did not tweet, did not in­dulge in cru­elty and in­sults, and did not at­tack the press. If Trump had ac­tu­ally gov­erned as the pop­ulist he claimed to be, and pushed through a big in­fra­struc­ture bill, struc­tured the tax cut for mid­dle-class fam­i­lies in­stead of cor­po­ra­tions, and pres­sured Big Pharma to lower drug prices, the pres­i­dent could have achieved a ma­jor re­align­ment around a pop­ulist Repub­li­can Party. He’d be fa­vored to be re-elected. In­stead, Trump’s chaos, ly­ing, and race-bait­ing have alien­ated so many Amer­i­cans that Democrats re­main com­pet­i­tive, de­spite the fact that their base is cur­rently pulling the party “way left of the mid­dle on is­sues of race and cul­ture and iden­tity.” The very Trump traits that make “lib­er­als feel des­per­ate” are also the ones for which they should be thank­ful.

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