A conservative self-examination on how granular convection produced Donald Trump:
Did we ever actually listen to our people? I mean all our people, not just the people who went to the same colleges as us and who hang with us at the same awesome restaurants and read National Review. I mean the actual voters out there in wherever actual GOP voters live. Did we pay attention to them and their concerns? Did we listen to them about illegal immigration, about the impact of free trade, about the wars we supported? And did we fight?
Glenn Reynolds muses on how we ended up with Hillary and Donald:
We’re moving into a general election with two very unpopular candidates at the top of the tickets: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Substantial majorities of Americans dislike them both. Gallup last week found them with precisely equal, and awful, approval ratings: 37% favorable, 58% unfavorable. Each says the other is a corrupt tool. They’re both probably right.
How did we get to this situation? It boils down to failure at every level, from the political class, to the media, to the voters themselves. The consequences, I’m afraid, may turn out to be severe.
The political class failed in both parties. The Trump phenomenon is a result of the GOP establishment taking a large part of its voting base for granted. GOP donors want open borders in order to save on wages. Many GOP voters, seeing their wages forced down by immigration (both illegal immigration and legal-but-abused programs like the H1B visa program that allows tech companies to pay near-slave wages for foreign programmers and engineers) felt differently.
In a huge GOP field, only one candidate, Trump, actually spoke to their concerns. Others, who might have done better, were disqualified, to a large plurality of the primary electorate, by their positions on immigration. A few tried toughening their stances, but it was too late, and Trump steamrollered the opposition. He may not be the best GOP nominee, but the GOP didn’t give voters who cared about the subject any other options.
On the Democratic side, the entire primary was more-or-less rigged as a coronation for Hillary, to the point that Bernie Sanders fans are still claiming fraud. Fraud or not, there’s no question that the Democratic National Committee put a thumb on the scales for Hillary, to the point that, when hacked DNC emails were released on Wikileaks, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz had to resign. Hillary’s track record of money-grubbing and foreign-affairs incompetence is unattractive, but the Democratic Party didn’t really allow any other options.
There is one cosmic law: in a republic like ours, we get the leaders we deserve.
(Okay, fine: the pope isn't democratically elected by the masses, so this is disanalogous. But the people still want to see his balls. And they deserve what they get.)