The Trump Coalition Replaces the Roosevelt Coalition

There is every indication President Trump is going to aggressively seek the support of every element of the Roosevelt coalition that will listen.

by Newt Gingrich

The latest New York Times and Siena College poll was devastating for President Joe Biden and Democrats – and deeply encouraging for President Donald Trump and Republicans.

It appears a 92-year-old political dam may be about to break. A flood of voter frustration, alienation, fear, and discontent may soon wash away the majority coalition President Franklin Delano Roosevelt assembled after defeating President Herbert Hoover in 1932.

Few people today realize that from 1860 to 1932, the Republican Party was the clear, dominant party in America. It won the Civil War, industrialized the country, and presided over the rise of urban prosperity and technological change that seemed unthinkable a generation earlier.

In that 72-year period, Democrats held the White House for only 16 years. Aside from those four terms, Republicans enjoyed a 56-year reign. Then the Great Depression convinced people that Republican policies had failed, and a new approach was necessary.

FDR was one of the greatest politicians in American history. He worked methodically and shrewdly to knit together a new center-left coalition. It included academic liberals, blue collar union leaders, southern segregationists, northern African Americans, and a wide range of interests. Together, they used government to profoundly change America.

That New Deal big government coalition survived Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and two George Bushes. Then, it collided with candidate Trump in 2016 and began to fall apart.

My friend Steve Ettenheim wrote me a note that made me think about the potential meaning of the New York Times poll. He said, “It could replace the ‘Roosevelt coalition’ with ‘the Trump coalition’ – minorities, Jews, working people (labor), small businesses. The Republicans/Trumpian party is now what the Democrats used to be. Amazing!”

It instantly struck me that Steve was on to a huge idea.

We are not just witnessing an election, or a series of legal conflicts, or a shift in language and issues. We are watching a potentially fundamental shift in majorities, which we have not seen in almost a century.

The New York Times reported an important movement among minority groups: “The poll showed Mr. Trump edging out Mr. Biden among Latinos, and Mr. Biden’s share of the Black vote is shrinking, too.”

With Asian Americans also beginning to move away from President Biden and toward President Trump, something profound is happening. Biden’s tenure certainly parallels with President Jimmy Carter’s collapse in 1980. But it is possible Biden may be in even greater danger. He may produce a disaster which makes him this generation’s President Hoover. (Hoover won only six states in 1932, earning a mere 59 electoral votes and 39.6 percent of the popular vote.)

While the news media wants to focus on Biden’s personal weaknesses, his shortcomings aren’t what is breaking the Democratic Party coalition. The results of Democrats’ policies are breaking the Democrat coalition.

The performance failures are deep and real in people’s lives. No speech or ad is going to turn them around. Again, the New York Times reported, “Among independents …only 12% think the Biden policies have helped them personally while 43% think Biden’s policies have hurt them personally. By stunning contrast 40% of all voters think Trump’s policies helped them while only 18% said Biden’s policies had helped them.”

President Biden faces three crises that are destroying the coalition he inherited and giving President Trump the opportunity to forge a new majority coalition.

First, at a performance level, most Americans think Biden’s policies simply are not working. Their failure is making the lives of average Americans more difficult and painful. In the State of the Union, President Biden cannot convincingly promise affordability and prosperity. Yet, that is exactly what most Americans want. Furthermore, Biden’s policies on the border and in dealing with drugs and crime (which are core Democratic Party policies) have made America more dangerous. Americans don’t like being afraid in their own homes or neighborhoods. Biden’s failure to make Americans safe at home has been compounded by his failure to ensure stability and safety overseas. He is a dangerously weak leader in an increasingly dangerous world.

Second, the bureaucracies, unions, and institutions which most strongly support the Biden presidency are precisely those which have the worst records of failing to perform. When five high schools in Baltimore city have zero students who are proficient in math – but the paychecks go out like clockwork – there is something wrong. In place of effective government, we have red tape, bureaucratic bullying, and less freedom.

Third, the extreme leftwing values at the heart of the Biden effort to transform government are deeply opposed by most Americans. A race-and-gender-defined, apologist globalist philosophy is deeply opposed by most Americans. Yet, this philosophy increasingly defines modern Democrats.

As Biden and the Democrats have driven people away, President Trump has proven to be the most aggressive and enthusiastic advocate for the values and results most Americans want.

The New York Times poll was a remarkable statement by one of the two leading leftwing establishment newspapers: the left could be on the edge of a catastrophe.

There is every indication President Trump is going to aggressively seek the support of every element of the Roosevelt coalition that will listen. Trump will bypass what Scott Rasmussen has defined as “the elite one percent,” because he knows that they are the poison which is destroying the Roosevelt coalition.

Biden and the Democrats will be left with a minority coalition of weird beliefs, strange behaviors, bureaucratic incompetence, and contempt for the American people.

By contrast, everyone who wants an America that works – one that is safe, secure, affordable, and prosperous – is going to help President Trump create the first new majority coalition in 92 years.

We are living in amazing times.

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