Collapsing standards in high schools and colleges reinforced one another. Ill-prepared college freshmen increasingly needed remedial assistance. They arrived at college equipped with the politically correct attitudes appropriate for what passed as “higher education” in the humanities and “social sciences.” They left with their attitudes reinforced. Likewise, academia increasingly marginalized or repelled students with less politically correct views. The sixties-born faculty repeatedly replicated itself.We end with normal Americans rebelling against the self-despising multiculturalists.
What rankles most among workaday white Americans is that, even as their incomes and life expectancies decline, and even as the protections promised in the Fourteenth Amendment are eviscerated in favor of new minority carve-outs, they’re accused of benefitting from “white privilege.” The rise of Ferguson’s Michael Brown and Baltimore’s Freddy Gray—the first a thug, the second a small-time drug dealer—as black icons of white oppression, exemplify the perversions of Obama’s America. Fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, a dramatically diminished racism is asked to account for the ongoing infirmities of the inner-city underclass.By their fruits shall ye know them. Sometimes it takes longer to recognize that the fruits are rotten.
Trump is both a reaction to and expression of liberal delusions. [Historian Arthur] Schlesinger’s fears have largely come to pass; we’ve become what he called a “quarrelsome spatter of enclaves.” Schlesinger was too much a part of the elite to imagine that the class he always thought of as representing the best of the future would come to be despised by a broad swath of Americans for its incompetence and ineffectuality.
At Commentary, John Podhoretz suggests the recognition is leading to some kind of political tipping point.
The preferred explanation for which Trump and Sanders pose as the solution is that politics has failed to work effectively, it’s broken, and someone needs to come in and fix it. That view misses the scope of the problems these two candidates are actually addressing.Put another way, the time for constructively harnessing discontent may have passed.
Put simply, nobody in American elite life — not in politics, not in finance, not in the intellectual world — has been able to find a convincing explanation for the transformative negative changes that characterize our time. These changes are spiritually and possibly literally earth-shattering. The family is falling apart and being redefined at the same time. Incomes have stagnated. Small stateless actors with global reach due to the Internet threaten the disruption and destruction of everyday life in places major (Paris) and minor (San Bernardino). And for many the ethnic complexion of America is changing in ways it has never changed before.