“If Trump Loses the Election, What Happens to Trumpism?”

Tom Edsall published another terrific piece synthesizing political scientists’ analyses, this time on what both political parties might look like after this election. For reasons readers of this blog will know, I was particularly struck by these comments from Sean McElwee, one of the founders of the liberal research institute Data for Progress:

McElwee said:

Progressives increasingly control much of the party infrastructure. It’s hard to find staffers who aren’t progressives. Wonks? They’re all super liberal!

Furthermore, McElwee argued,

Young people who dedicate their careers to helping Democrats win elections are much more liberal than the country as a whole, as are the donors who give millions to the campaigns. The increasing reliance on small dollar ideological donors also keeps progressives in the mix.

Daniel Schlozman, a political scientist at Johns Hopkins, agreed that the Trump wing of the party will not disappear if Trump is defeated:

Whatever happens to Donald Trump himself, or to his family, Trumpism — that is, the American manifestation of global right-populism — is not going away, nor is what Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson call plutocratic populism, namely the fusion of resentment and classic conservatism.

Schlozman warned that if Trumpism

succeeds in finding new recruits among members of historically Democratic blocs, e.g. anti-immigrant Blacks, it may succeed. The only way to imagine a more responsible Republican Party is for it to lose badly and repeatedly. Given the realities of evenly matched parties and Republican advantages in the Senate and the courts, that is not a likely prospect.

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