Donald Trump’s presidency seems to be going nowhere fast, but he does have one major political accomplishment under his belt: He has unified the normally fractious Democratic Party.
Whereas Ronald Reagan and the Bushes could count on some Democrats to support their initiatives, opposition to Trump is monolithic. Democrats regard him as a shambolic interloper with a severe and possibly dangerous personality disorder – a fake president.
Nonetheless, the Trump phenomenon has forced Democrats to confront our party’s structural weakness. Following successive mid-term blowouts, losing the White House to Trump shattered Democrats’ assumption that the nation’s changing demography was realigning U.S. politics inexorably around a new progressive majority.
It’s painfully clear that such complacency was unwarranted. Barack Obama’s impressive achievement in racking up successive presidential majorities masked an underlying erosion of Democratic strength in too many places. The party’s electoral appeal has narrowed steadily, both in the middle of the country and among working middle class voters. In effect, we have traded breadth of support across the whole electorate for intensity of support among minorities, millennials, single women, secular voters and professionals.
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