Culture Wars/Current Controversies

2016: The Turning Point

The main effect of Trumpism seems to have been to accelerate the leftward drift of US culture.   I would point out, however, that it is only on cultural issues where the left is winning. The USA continues to be as statist, capitalist, and imperialist as it ever was, although cracks in the surface have started to appear.

By Richard Hanania

My article “Why is Everything Liberal?” has gotten a great deal of attention. See in particular thoughtful commentary from Bryan Caplan and Robby Soave at Reason.

This post is a followup, with two main goals. First, I’ve discovered additional evidence that liberals care more about politics, which I will just add on to what already was an extremely strong case.

Second, some people criticized the piece for not addressing what has changed recently. I think I’ve found the answer to that too, which is that the mobilization gap increased precipitously in 2016. It is at that time that we see Democrats overtake Republicans in fundraising, liberals overtake conservatives in signing petitions, and the left’s already sizable lead in protesting become much larger. While it seems that liberals have always cared more about politics if we are looking at the tail end of the distribution–i.e., those who become activists, journalists, or academics–it is only in 2016 that we see more noticeable and significant gaps open up in the next level down in the pyramid.

Since 2016, liberals have achieved true mass mobilization in a way conservatives never have in the modern era.


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