from the editors at The Wall Street Journal, Trump and the Democrats:


Blaming “white-lash” is silly—of the roughly 700 U.S. counties that Mr. Obama won twice, about one-third broke this time for Mr. Trump—but these cultural rationalizations are lamentable and instructive. Too many liberals, and some conservatives, simply cannot imagine how great numbers of Americans think and perceive their own interests. Thus wrong opinions must be the result of cognitive limitations or character flaws. Mrs. Clinton called Trump supporters “deplorables,” “irredeemable” and “not America,” as if there could be no other explanation.

Democrats now face some decisions about how to deal with a Republican majority, and one irony is that their methods under Mr. Obama will make Mr. Trump’s job easier. The Harry Reid-Obama decision to break the filibuster for nominations will ease the path for Mr. Trump’s cabinet and judicial nominees. A GOP Senate won’t tolerate a filibuster of a Supreme Court pick.

The lesson for smart Democrats is that progressive policy goals can’t be imposed on a reluctant America by political diktat. They have to be won by persuasion and inevitably by compromise. Relying on judges and regulation left millions of Americans feeling disenfranchised and inspired the Trump backlash. This wasn’t about race or gender or Hillary Clinton’s emails. It was about reclaiming a voice in how their country is governed.

The same political lesson applies to Mr. Trump and Republicans as they seek to pass the agenda they campaigned on. But they now have that opportunity in large part because the Obama progressives were so uncompromising and condescending to Americans beyond the coasts. The tides of American politics mean Democrats will inevitably make a comeback, but that return will arrive stronger and maybe sooner if they learn the lessons of Mr. Obama’s disdain for his political opponents.