from Matthew Continetti in national Review, The World As It Wasn’t:
Apparently Obama had read a column — I have an idea of which one — about the role of identity in shaping people’s lives and political choices. “Maybe we pushed too far,” he mused. “Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.” No question his fellow passengers that day reassured him that no, no, he did everything he could to bend the arc of history a little more toward justice. It’s not your fault, Mr. President. You didn’t push too far. All you did was troll Donald Trump into running for president in the first place, stand by while Ferguson and Baltimore rioted and burned, give Iran billions in exchange for empty promises, allow Russia to establish a beachhead in the Middle East for the first time in half a century, browbeat Israel at every opportunity, ram through Obamacare after Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts, preside over the mass migration of children across the southern border in 2014, expand the DACA amnesty despite saying 22 times you lacked authority to do so, use the permanent structure of government to devastate the Appalachian economy, convince half of America that liberals were ready to take their guns (this wasn’t hard to do), have your Education Department issue orders that led to the campus-assault craze and the deterioration of classroom discipline and that, months before a presidential election, mandated trans-bathrooms in schools, have your Justice Department preside over a sloppy (I’m being charitable) investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server that included, at one point, your attorney general secretly meeting with the husband of the subject of the investigation on an airport tarmac, muscle out Joe Biden, who might have won, from the race, and hand the party back to the less likable half of America’s most polarizing and corrupt political couple. Not to mention the eight years of lecturing. Oh, the lecturing.
Imagine carrying the burden of Barack Obama, of being too enlightened, sophisticated, mature for his time. In his conceit that historical progress is assured and irreversible, and that challenges to such progress are reducible to irrational prejudice, Obama is a paradigmatic liberal. Yet America’s frequent elections, tendency to rotate offices, decentralization of power, avenues for the expression of popular discontent, and multiple veto points continually frustrated his desires. By the end of his second term, he was expending a great deal of energy working around the constitutional structure established in 1789 and amended 27 times since.
The progressive leaders claims to represent the people’s will, but the elite have become so insulated that they are now clueless how their policies affect those people. The leader must be confident enough to believe he can enact the changes, but humble enough to recognize the view of those he professes to lead. The left has omitted the second part. By demonizing them instead of listening to them they alienated them.
This is well reported in Salena Zito’s new book, The Great Revolt. She and her co author Brad Todd examine how counties that flipped for Trump in the three critical swing states had been solidly Democratic for a half century. Counties that voted for Obama twice with 16 point margins flipped to vote for Trump by similar margins. Insisting that these voters are racist only solidifies their support for Trump and illuminates how much the media and political clerisy remains ignorant of so much of America.