On blue-collar Democrats who voted Republican for the first time in their life, in 2016:
Social conservatives often think that their policies are the way to reach out to these voters and bring them into the GOP coalition, but that’s a mistake. These voters are not motivated by social issues; they are, as the conservative Canadian political analyst Patrick Muttart says, “morally moderate.” They will go along with candidates of the Left or the Right who hold their party’s consensus views on abortion, gender identity, or marriage so long as they do not make those views their priority. Donald Trump’s lack of a firm grounding in traditional Republican social policy was, for these voters, a plus, as it signaled to them that advancing the Evangelical Christian social agenda would not be high on his agenda.
This is why I cry. There were conservatives and liberals. Then the liberals became extreme leftists. And they took over the schools, the media, and the universities, and went on a winning spree. The conservatives were desperate but kept losing. But then the leftists were so radical & elitest that they engendered a centrist-populist revolt, which also happened to blow up the conservatives.
Meanwhile, social conservatives either had nowhere to turn (and were ignored — the NeverTrumpers) or were cowed and brought to heel (for self-preservation from the extreme leftists who have made it clear that they do want to eliminate us and our faith as a ‘hate’ to be obliterated). We were either irrelevant, or cowed and compromised. To put it bluntly, out of fear of persecution we sold our soul.
Yes, the new populists are currently anti-leftist, but that doesn’t make them conservative.
And they are — very much — a reaction to the leftists, which means that much like the stereotypical pastor’s kid now drinking and partying, they are defined by the very thing they are rebelling against. Fore example: the elite left is obnoxiously feminist, so dammit, the populists are going to be obnoxiously chauvinist. Etc.
I don’t even know if it matters who “wins” anymore. They are both making each-other into the thing they hate. I happen to think the leftists started it (e.g. if you bash generations of good boys as horrible creatures of darkness, and systematically shoot down any attempt at male virtue, at some point all you will end up with are misogynistic chauvinists who actually do have a legit reason to hate you), but it doesn’t really matter at this point–its an awful cycle that will keep doing more damage for all sides.
And the most painful part of it all, is that America has so much potential. If we had stayed true to God, we could be out there saving the world, and Iraq could be a humane democracy right now, and the USA could be using its foreign policy clout to save apostates from execution, and women from honor killings and sexual exploitation. But instead the Middle East is in flames; the children are defiled; and the virulent feminists and virulent playboys can beat each other to mutually traumatized pulp, as the national culture gets increasingly amoral, nihilistic, and despairing.