Friday, September 9, 2016

David Brooks Describes The Transformation Of US Political Parties

David Brooks grew up as an advocate for a Republican Party that reflected the conservatism of William F. Buckley. He argues that the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are being transformed.  He argues that at its core today the GOP is the Party of a globalizing business elite and those who have suffered from globalization.  That is no longer tenable.  It is ready to be taken over by a younger version of a Donald Trump without his racism and cultural animosities. 

The Democratic Party has become the party of well educated professionals that also represents the interests of minority groups.  That coalition has a serious weakness that was exposed in the primary campaign.  Clinton got the minority vote along with the votes of Democrats who believed that she was the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump.  Bernie Sanders attracted Democrats who felt that their interests were no longer supported by the Democratic elite represented by Hillary Clinton.  It will not be easy to hold the Democratic coalition together if the Republican Party becomes the favored Party of the disaffected.

David Brooks is an astute observer of the political scene but there does not seem to be a place in his scheme for the global business elite.  The Democratic elite consists of upscale professionals but the business elite represented by the Chamber of Commerce seems to have disappeared.  In any case, it is fairly clear that the two party system in the US in under severe stress.  Those stresses are more apparent in the parliamentary systems that are more common in Europe.

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