Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Political Earthquake

This is really interesting:
For many decades, millions of people in Britain didn’t just vote Labour. They were Labour. Not a few millions still areLabour and will vote accordingly. But the rise of UKIP, and then the Brexit referendum which UKIP made happen, spoke to an at least equally deep idea of who many Labour voters are, comparable even with being Labour. They are: British, English, not European. (See also: Scotland.)
In retrospect, I think we can see that the rise of UKIP and the subsequent Brexit referendum didn’t just change Britain’s relationship with EUrope. They also changed Britain itself, by creating new allegiances and new connections between hitherto hostile tribesmen, and it weakened many old loyalties and connections and created new tribal divisions. Both the Labour and the Conservative tribes emerged from the UKIP/referendum episode changed. The Conservative tribe emerged stronger and bigger. The Labour tribe emerged weaker and smaller.
There's also a very interesting exploration of what the Labour and Tory political leaders represent to their tribes, and how that is driving this dynamic.

What I find striking is the similarity to what is going on in American politics, the Democrats and Republicans, the shifting tribal allegiances, and the comparison of Hilary Clinton to Donald Trump.  The similarities are striking, and may give some insight into just why so may people seem to have become unhinged about Trump's victory.

The idea that many American democrats voted for Trump because that saw him as being American and Hillary as being in some sense un-American sure would be a basis for losing your moorings.  I've been looking at this from a pretty pure-economics view (i.e. Trump was seen as better for the Rust Belt than Hillary was, at least by Rust Belt voters), but this is far deeper.  If it's true.

1 comment:

SiGraybeard said...

I think that's probably the right analysis. Trump won states that had gone for Obama with massive percentage swings and broke the mortal lock Demmies had on Wisconsin.

There's an emerging feeling among people that something is fundamentally wrong; that they're not being represented any more. That they don't belong in their own country, or at least that they're looked down upon by the power brokers.

That's seriously bad stuff, and only the briefest scratching of the surface.