David French zeroes in on the attraction of Trump.
Conservatives have long focused on the reality that private individuals and private associations are the best-equipped to encourage and foster human flourishing. Churches and civic associations take care of their members better than government social workers. Businesses large and small are best-equipped to respond to and spearhead economic innovation. Good families are better than even the best government at raising children and overseeing their education.
Thus, much of the modern conservative enterprise has been focused around protecting individuals and private associations from government encroachment, and ending government monopolies on enterprises such as education in an attempt to spur competition and restore the primacy of the family in the lives of children. This philosophy depends on a world of mutual obligations, with individuals and families primarily responsible for their own well-being and governments responsible for protecting their liberty and security. Trump understands what Democrats have long understood: The disconnected and vulnerable often feel that they have nowhere to turn but to government.
The breakdown of the family and the increasing alienation of the individual has changed this calculus. A person in an intact marriage who belongs to a thriving church looks at the world very differently from a single parent living on their own or an older divorcée who’s disconnected from the surrounding community. During the primary, the more a Republican was connected to a church or to civic associations, the less likely they were to vote for Trump. The more alienated the citizen, the more likely they were to hop on the Trump Train.
Trump understands what Democrats have long understood: The disconnected and vulnerable often feel that they have nowhere to turn but to government. They feel helpless and look for a champion. That’s why President Obama put out his much-derided “Julia” cartoon: to show single women that they have nothing to fear, because the government will meet all their most critical earthly needs.
And, sadly, has the correct conclusion.
In other words: The southern Democrat is back. The old-school Midwest union boss is back. They have their champion, and he’s the GOP nominee. For now, the Left has won. The only real question is which version of big-government liberalism will prevail in November.