Everyone is talking about the split that has emerged among the Repugnicans between the neoconservative and corporatist elites and the populist-nationalist “base.” But it appears an interesting split is emerging among Democraps as well. These two articles by Matt Fortney on his recent visits to a Sanders rally and a Clinton rally respectively are interesting in terms of the differences that are described between the attendees at the two rallies. According to Matt’s descriptions, the attendees at the Sanders rally were similar to what you might find at a Green Party rally, e.g. a collection of college students and old hippies. But the attendees at the Clinton rally were more in the center-left Daily Kos/Huffington Post race/gender/gay identitarian vein. It’s also interesting that Sanders spoke mostly about economics and Clinton spoke mostly about gay rights, transgender rights, et al. This may indicate an emerging split within liberalism between those who are mostly concerned with bread and butter issues, and those of a higher socioeconomic demographic mostly concerned with identitarian issues (i.e. the proletariat versus the left-wing of the middle class.
If You’re Feeling the Bern, There’s a Cream for That by Matt Fortney
“Bernie Sanders is a dime-store Marxist whose policies will bring ruin to America and the West if ever implemented. However, his support among young people is driven by an economic disaster that society needs to address.”
The Rise and Fall of Hillary Clinton by Matt Fortney
“Eight years after being denied what she thought was rightfully hers, Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions are going up in smoke again. When is she going to realize that nobody likes her?”
As a side note, Matt’s take on Rand Paul is also quite interesting. While I certainly agree that Rand has almost single-handedly thrown away the legacy he inherited from his father, I disagree with the frequent alt-right claim that “pandering to the Left” is ultimately what did him in. Rather, I think his “pandering to everyone” was more the problem. Rand would pander to the neocons on foreign policy, pander to social conservatives on a variety of issues, and pander to African-Americans on police brutality while adopting the Glenn Beckian-line that “It’s really Democratic liberals who are oppressing black folks.”
I also disagree with many alt-rightists who claim that Rand’s failure to take a more conservative line on race is what really finished him. His father repeatedly cited Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks as heroes in interviews, while straddling the fence a bit on immigration, and yet remained tremendously popular on the Right. What made Ron so popular was his attacking the neocon’s foreign policy in the wake of the Bush wars, and his attacks on the banking establishment in the wake of the Great Recession of 2008-2009.
This is the line Rand should have continued to take. Instead, of pandering to the neocons out of fear of being perceived as “weak on national security” he should have up-stepped his father’s anti-neocon, anti-interventionist line. Instead of pandering to the religious right by softening libertarian positions on issues like drug legalization, he should have pushed anti-drug war rhetoric to the limit (rather than focus merely on its worst excesses like mass incarceration, police brutality, racial disparities and mandatory minimums). He should have characterized controversial social issues like abortion and gay rights as state’s issues, not federal issues, and been done with it, while staking out a paleoconservative position on immigration similar to his father’s. And he should have maximized the libertarian attacks on central banking and corporate welfare.
If Rand had done all these things, he might have been able to eclipse Donald Trump as the maverick GOP candidate. Rand, you blew it, buddy.