Friday, April 28, 2017

Barone: Capital vs. Countryside

Writing for RealClearPolitics, long-time political analyst Michael Barone declares the current axis of political discourse.
Capital vs. countryside -- that's the new political divide, visible in multiple surprise election results over the past 11 months.

This was apparent last June in Britain's referendum on whether to leave the European Union.(snip) It was plain in Colombia's October referendum on a peace settlement with the FARC guerrillas.

In both countries, the ethnic and geographic fringe -- Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Caribbean provinces -- voted with the capital. But in each case, the historic heartland, with the majority of voters, produced a surprise defeat for the capital establishment.

It was a similar story here in November. Coastal America -- the Northeast minus Pennsylvania, the Pacific states minus Alaska -- favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a 58-35 percent margin. But the geographic heartland, casting 69 percent of the nation's votes, favored Trump by a 51-43 percent margin.
He notes a similar pattern in France's recent first round of presidential voting. Le Pen did poorly in the metro areas, led in rural France. About what it means, he concludes:
In different ways, Brexit, Le Pen and Trump seek to counter the university-trained bureaucratic, financial and cultural elites in London, Paris and NY/DC/LA/SF. They resent overlarge and undercompetent bureaucracies and public employee unions, the paymasters of the Labour and Democratic parties. With blunt, often ill-advised rhetoric, they challenge the pieties of the universities.
This is clearly part of the underlying truth, described by a keen observer. The balance of the article provides historical context for this type of movement.

Later ... Instapundit Glenn Reynolds calls what Barone describes "Hunger Games politics." Defeat Panem!