Short Views

Middle American Revolution Begins

Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election was greeted with shock and disbelief in many quarters.  My favorite example of this occurred at my law-school alma mater, where students traumatized by the thought that ideas regularly denounced by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post had triumphed in a national election were offered the solace of coloring books and Play-Doh by the school’s resident therapist.  One person who would not have been shocked, though, had he lived to see it, is Sam Francis, who used column after column in this magazine to predict the Middle American Revolution that so unnerved the actual and aspiring members of our elite in November.

Sam argued that the major oppositional force to the elite consensus governing American politics since the end of the Cold War was found among the voters the late sociologist Donald Warren had dubbed “Middle American Radicals,” voters who were both dubious of the free-market orthodoxies offered by conventional Republicans and disdainful of the leftist cultural and social policies advocated by most Democrats.  Warren found these views concentrated among white lower-middle-class voters.  To counter the disastrous policies on offer from our elites, Sam argued that any politician who actually wanted to strike a blow against leftism should identify with the Middle American...

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