Saturday, March 05, 2016

ungovernable: the unprotected push back


dollarcollapse |  Peggy Noonan, former Reagan administration speech writer and current Wall Street Journal pundit has, like most of her peers, been wondering what’s gotten into the unwashed masses lately that makes them such unpredictable voters. And she’s come up with a useful conclusion: The rise of Donald Trump (and similar iconoclasts in other countries) is due to the gradual division of society into the protected — that is, people who make the rules and therefore benefit from them — and the unprotected, who don’t make the rules and end up getting screwed. The latter have finally figured this out and have stopped supporting the former. Here’s her latest OpEd piece, in its entirety:
Trump and the Rise of the Unprotected: Why political professionals are struggling to make sense of the world they created.

We’re in a funny moment. Those who do politics for a living, some of them quite brilliant, are struggling to comprehend the central fact of the Republican primary race, while regular people have already absorbed what has happened and is happening. Journalists and politicos have been sharing schemes for how Marco parlays a victory out of winning nowhere, or Ted roars back, or Kasich has to finish second in Ohio. But in my experience any nonpolitical person on the street, when asked who will win, not only knows but gets a look as if you’re teasing him. Trump, they say.

I had such a conversation again Tuesday with a friend who repairs shoes in a shop on Lexington Avenue. Jimmy asked me, conversationally, what was going to happen. I deflected and asked who he thinks is going to win. “Troomp!” He’s a very nice man, an elderly, old-school Italian-American, but I saw impatience flick across his face: Aren’t you supposed to know these things?

In America now only normal people are capable of seeing the obvious.

But actually that’s been true for a while, and is how we got in the position we’re in.

Last October I wrote of the five stages of Trump, based on the Kübler-Ross stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Most of the professionals I know are stuck somewhere between four and five.

But I keep thinking of how Donald Trump got to be the very likely Republican nominee. There are many answers and reasons, but my thoughts keep revolving around the idea of protection. It is a theme that has been something of a preoccupation in this space over the years, but I think I am seeing it now grow into an overall political dynamic throughout the West.

There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.