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Trump pushed suburban voters away ...

Set aside for a moment the immediate outcome of the 2018 midterm election — how it broke the Republican Party’s lock on power in Washington. Just as important may be what this election represents historically: the endpoint of one political realignment, and the nascent even if tentative configuration of another.

For Republicans, we may be at the end of a 50-year arc of political history that arguably began in 1968 with George Wallace’s insurgency and Richard Nixon’s silent majority and southern strategy. While Wallace was overt and Nixon cynical in their mutual exploitation of grievance politics, what they accomplished had long-term consequences for our country: they weaponized culture as the driving force behind American politics.

It was in the late 1960s that the white working class, long the nucleus of the New Deal coalition, began to drift from the Democratic Party. In part it was the Vietnam War — while other Democrats were protesting the war and getting their kids student deferments, many white working-class kids were fighting it and coming home to a nation indifferent, and at times hostile, to their sacrifice. It also was, in part, discomfort with the wave of Sixties liberation movements that the Democratic Party embraced — liberation movements that upended tradition, questioned authority, and challenged the white working-class trinity of faith, family and flag.

And in large part it was about race; white working-class voters were fine when civil rights stayed south, but they seethed when it confronted their own segregated neighborhoods up north.

Nixon singularly understood that these were not political or economic grievances but cultural ones. And he charted out a Republican politics that seized on these resentments and preyed on the status anxiety of the white working class. ...

Read entire article at The Hill