Trump single-handedly effected the beginning of a realignment capable of achieving lasting dominance, regardless of whether his administration effectively prosecuted the mandate of that realignment.
Neglected by Republicans and Democrats alike, vilified by the culture, and preyed upon by globalization, white working-class voters in 2016 cast their lot with the one candidate in a generation who remembered them, and thus became Donald Trump’s base—a constellation of blue, white, and pink collar laborers. This spark ignited what was supposed to be a revolution in party politics and carried Trump into the White House.
The truth about white “dysfunctional, downscale communities,” Kevin Williamson informed us in a March 2016 National Review article, “is that they deserve to die.” A year into Donald Trump’s presidency, an unrepentant Bill Kristol quipped that the “lazy” white working class should be replaced with immigrants. The mask was off what had been the prevailing attitude among establishment conservatives and Republicans until Trump.
And so it was that the cultural, political, and economic depredations these Americans suffered formed the chord of grievance Trump struck to resounding success.