Looking for news you can trust?Subscribe to our free newsletters.
I’m not sure of the precise timing, but I figure sometime soon..either before the 2018 midterms or soon after… the regular drumbeat for a “populist” party whose appeal is limited to Tom Friedman and Matthew Dowd and maybe Chuck Lane will begin. A reasonable amount of money will be spent on laughing consultants, a disproportionate amount of media attention will be paid, and then little things like “ballot access” and “nobody likes us” will become apparent and the whole thing will collapse. Just like it does every election.
The really weird thing about this is that the pundit dream team is almost always a party with liberal social attitudes but conservative economic policies:
But this party already exists: it’s libertarians, more or less. The problem is that I’m pretty sure communists are more popular than libertarians, and a bit of tweaking around the edges to make them warmer and fuzzier won’t come anywhere near to changing that.
The people who are truly unrepresented are in the top right. They’re not comfortable with gay marriage and abortion and secularism and gun control, but they like Social Security and Medicare and raising taxes on rich people. Donald Trump sort of campaigned in this quadrant, but not really that much.
The ideal party to appeal to these folks would be center-right on social values; social democratic on entitlements and taxes and garden-variety government programs; and in favor of cutting back any program that smells like welfare. That would probably get some votes. But it sends shivers down the spines of elites everywhere, so no one will ever put up the money to get it started.