In the 2020 election, Donald Trump won 83 percent of the nation’s counties – small wonder people speak of the red American heartland- but those counties only accounted for 30 percent of the national GDP
This is a remarkable development considering that Republicans as recently as 2016 have been historically derided as the “fat cat” corporate party, though their power was limited, as they faced rather intractable opposition in the academy, public education, ths media, Silivon Valley, and the arts and entertainment sectors.
We now inhabit a country in which a single party, the Democrats, wield something approaching cultural and political hegemony, which, aside from academia, traditional and digital media and Big Entertainment, includes deepening support from the national security apparatus as well as the corporate sector.
As this column by American Consequence’s Shane Devine points out, Wall Street contributed more than $74 million directly to Biden’s campaign. Trump, by contrast, received $18 million, even less than the paltry $20 million he received in 2016.
The massive corporate support for the Democrats evident in the last two election cycles likely portends a major U.S. political realignment. As this column stresses,
Of Wall Street’s total 2020 contributions, not only to campaigns but to all political organizations, including “dark money” groups, 62% went to Democrats and 38% went to Republicans. Comparatively, in 2016, they gave 50% to Republicans and 49% to Democrats. In 2012, they gave 69% to Republicans and 31% to Democrats. The Chamber of Commerce, which has long been the top-spending lobbying client, endorsed 30 Democratic House candidates in the 2020 election.
In the face of these sweeping changes, the Republican Party increasingly is signaling its aspiration to function as a worker-nationalist party, appealing not only to aggrieved, increasingly economically marginalized white heartland voters but also the growing cultural demographic of Hispanic blue-collar workers.
Yet, one is led to wonder how far such an increasingly marginalized party will get in the future, especially one now so isolated from main sources of cultural power as well as the political power that actually counts in this post-constitutional landscape: adequate levels of support within the federal bureaucratic sector.
Meanwhile, the Democrats, the ascendant party, confident in their increasing cultural clout, will undoubtedly follow through with their plans for a transformation of the federal judiciary. Among other things, this will pave the way for Democratic aspirations for through-going electoral “reform,” ultimately enabling them to erode Republican dominance in the red heartland.
In time, the Democrats will be emboldened to leverage their immense political and cultural clout to undertake a thorough-going cultural transformation to their liking – something that they already feel confident boasting about. Securing statehood for Puerto Rico and D.C., they will virtually assure their control of the Senate for generations.
Small wonder why the Democrats are increasingly behaving like a vanguard party, not all that different from the ones in Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe that functioned as cultural and political monoliths but that also kept tame opposition around for domestic and international consumption.