I’m moving away from the Democratic Party which has been my home forever. Don’t worry, I’ll vote for Hillary. But the same world view that pushes me to advocate for more dual language immersion programs and paid high school study abroad programs finds me increasingly frustrated with an out of date Democratic Party. David Brooks captured some of the dynamics of this frustration in his NY Times column “The Clinton Calendar” (here):
Donald Trump is egregious, but at least he’s living in the 21st century, as was Bernie Sanders. Clintonworld operates according to its own time-space continuum that is slightly akilter from our own.
In the 21st century, politics operates around a different axis. It’s not left/right, big government/small government. It’s openness and dynamism versus closedness and security. It’s between those who see opportunity and excitement in the emerging globalized, multiethnic meritocracy against those who see their lives and communities threatened by it.
In the 21st century, the parties are amassing different coalitions. People are dividing along human capital lines, with the college educated flocking to the Democrats and the non-college educated whites flocking to the G.O.P. Democrats do great in America’s 100 most crowded counties, but they struggle in the 3,000 less crowded ones.
Her campaign proposals sidestep the cutting issues that have driven Trump, Sanders, Brexit and the other key movements of modern politics. Her ideas for reducing poverty are fine, but they are circa Ed Muskie: more public works jobs, housing tax credits, more money for Head Start.
Her out-of-time style costs her big with millennials. If she loses this election it will be because younger voters just don’t relate to her and flock to Gary Johnson instead. It also leads to a weird imbalance in the national debate.
We have an emerging global system, with relatively open trade, immigration, multilateral institutions and ethnic diversity. The critics of that system are screaming at full roar. The champions of that system — and Hillary Clinton is naturally one — are off in another world.
There is a strong case to be made for an open world order, and a huge majority coalition to be built in support of it. But she is disengaged.
I accept globalization with all its challenges (and opportunities) like I accept the science of climate change. I want our next generations to make the best of globalization and engage the world vigorously. Hillary and the Democrats just seem so out of date.
Some of the same thinking may be reshaping politics in Britain. Like the youth in Britain, I was not for Brexit. So, now, if British, I would probably be looking to the future of the minority Liberal Democratic Party. From the Economist article “Not Drowning but Waving: Their skepticism about Brexit gives the Liberal Democrats a welcome new distinctiveness” (here):
The Tories have family, faith and flag. Labour has what remains of the industrial working class. The Lib Dems, according to a paper published in 2015 by Mark Pack and David Howarth, two party strategists, need to forge a similar relationship with the well-educated, internationalist urban types who make up the most pro-openness fifth of the British population, but who have no fixed abode in the party-political spectrum. Mr Farron’s uncompromising hostility to Brexit is the substantiation of this strategy.
I am searching for a home for my “well-educated, internationalist urban” views in Oregon and US politics. I haven't found it yet.