Joel Kotkin: We Now Join the U.S. Class War Already in Progress – The Daily Beast
We are now experiencing a growth in class-based politics not seen since the New Deal. During the long period of generally sustained prosperity from the ’50s to 2007, class issues remained, but were increasingly subsumed by social issues—civil and gay rights, feminism, environment—that often cut across class lines. Democrats employed liberal social issues to build a wide-ranging coalition that spanned the ghettos and barrios as well as the elite neighborhoods of the big cities. Similarly, Republicans cobbled together their coalition by stressing conservative social ideas, free-market economics, and a focus on national defense; this cemented the country club wing with the culturally conservative suburban and exurban masses.
The chaos and constant surprises of this campaign represent the beginning of a new political era shaped largely by class. In November Trump hopes to ride the concerns of the white working class to victory in the Rust Belt to overcome Hillary Clinton’s coastal edge. Close to 20 percent of Democrats, according to Mercury Analytics surveys, plan to support Trump as their champion. In the coming months, the donor class, politicians, and pundits will be forced to address the needs of Trump’s supporters, as well as those of Sanders’s youth precariat in ways mainstream politicians have avoided for years.