Blog Ipsa Loquitur

Friend of the blog James Grimmelmann’s Bleak Reflections on the midterm elections, which were somehow only weeks ago:

One aspect of Donald Trump’s political genius is that he intuited, was advised, or stumbled into the realization that the American constitutional system gives an immense structural advantage to the rural party. He has knocked the Republican party off of its traditional ideological axes and remade it as a thoroughly rural party. This was not a large shift: it was already the more rural of the two parties, and has been tipping further in that direction for some time. He just gave it a hard shove.

The white male identity politics that Trump has been stoking are the politics of rural resentment. The unifying theme is a hatred of urban elites. You can call them Democrats, or libtards, or globalists, or Jews. […]

Trump discovered, quite possibly accidentally, that a rural Republican party can take and hold electoral power even if it represents a minority of the population and receives a minority of votes. 2016 set up the hypothesis, and 2018 confirmed it. Even without the House (where the urban party also is at a structural disadvantage, but less of one), the Presidency plus the Senate is enough to staff the agencies and to stack the courts.

Yeah, he wasn’t kidding. That’s pretty bleak.