In 1992 the Republican party began to fly off the rails, pursuing a conservative culture war that only appealed to middle and upper-middle class residents of red states. With the abrupt takeover of the party by the Trump movement (not the man, but the millions who voted for him), it is once again viable and poised to win.
Will the Democrat Establishment and the base of its voters learn the lesson and gravitate toward Trump's appeal of populism and America-first, or will it double down on corporate elitism and globalism?
The past couple months suggest that it is committing even stronger to failed Clintonism. The war-mongering against Russia is ridiculous enough, and the stupidity is compounded by what the war would be fought over -- deposing Assad and controlling Syria. The entire Democrat mainstream is intensifying the plan for the United States foreign policy apparatus to be a globalist policeman / dictator.
Trump on the other hand favors detente with major powers and otherwise extricating ourselves from all these damn pointless entanglements. And so did Bernie.
While the Democrats have not been as rabid about pushing the TPP and other de-industrializing trade deals, they are still all on board and not bad-mouthing anything about them. Trump and Bernie are both staunchly against such policies, and have been for years -- the fact that the Democrat mainstream is staying silent amounts to running away from the direction the country as a whole wants to go in.
Trustbusting (especially in the media sector), re-instating Glass-Steagall, ending the revolving door between politicians and lobbyists, term limits on Congressmen -- on and on down the line, Trump and Bernie represent the changing direction of the voters, while Clinton and her ilk are either keeping mum or actively resisting the changes.
The only major policy that Trump and Bernie differ on is immigration, and Clinton is not pushing so hard on that issue because she knows there is minimal support for open borders and amnesty. Otherwise she would be hammering it over and over.
Instead, she and the rest of the mainstream Democrats have shifted to an intensified moralizing liberal crusade, akin to the shift in 1992 among Republicans. Remember that Reagan did not run on social and cultural topics, but on the economy, the government, and foreign policy. Obama likewise did not represent a triumph of a liberal culture war -- rather, the repudiation of neoconservative policies in the economy, government, and foreign policy.
The Democrats have misread what the Obama wins were all about, assuming they were an endorsement of hardcore liberal culture warring. The Republicans made that same mistake in 1992, and they would still be fighting that losing battle if it weren't for Trump.
That suggests that the Democrat party is in for a few decades of increasing irrelevance, until it is shaken up by an America-first populist.
Bernie went a decent length in that direction, but was bad on the crucial matter of population composition and citizenship -- and he and his supporters were weak on that issue because a piece of their brains was still stuck in liberal culture war mode. Deporting illegal immigrants will disproportionately affect non-white and non-American people, ergo racist and untenable.
The conventional wisdom among Democrats will become that Bernie was just a less racist version of Donald Trump, and since Trump = Hitler, we can't have Bernie or his movement. They just need to keep trying harder at pushing the liberal side of the culture war, and sometime they'll win back the White House.
Expect something as out-of-place as Bob Dole in the 1996 race -- when his best chance was closer to '76. I wouldn't be surprised if after Trump's 8 years in office, the Democrats nominate a geriatric Howard Dean, whose campaign anthem will be the Rock Against Bush soundtrack from 20 years earlier.
What concrete signs are there, if any, that the elite politicians, the large donors, and the solid base of the Democrat party has shifted toward Bernie rather than away from Bernie in the past month or so, realizing that's the only way to give Trump a run for his money? I don't see it.
I know people will say that the colossal failure of Crooked Hillary Clinton will sink that wing of the party, but that could be wishful thinking. Remember what happened when Bush got clobbered in '92 -- they doubled down and drove themselves further and further into irrelevancy.