Democrats spent years being trounced in elections at every level. When they lost the election to Trump, they could have started looking at reasons why voters don’t want them. They could have started finally to elaborate answers to the pressing issues of the day. They could have started addressing voters’ concerns over globalization and fluidity.
But they chose not to. Instead, they gave voters a raging Trump hysteria. The non-stop shrieking and screeching about Trump masks how little of value they are offering to us. We are supposed to vote for them not because they are good but because Trump is so horrid that we should disregard the emptiness at the heart of their program.
I don’t think this will backfire in the electoral sense. I think they will win in 2018 and 2020. What is it that they will win, though? Other than the right to continue not doing anything of value, that is.
As 19th-century theorist of nationalism Ernest Renan said, when politicians try to appeal to your emotions, that’s because they are hoping you will switch off your reason.