from the WSJ, To Beat Trump, Get a Grip by Ted Van Dyk:
Democrats should take a fresh look at why and how Mr. Trump won the 2016 election. The party’s national leadership claims it was because of support from white supremacists, religious nuts, nativists, misogynists and Latino-haters. This is a failure to recognize what actually happened. President Trump was the consequence—not the cause—of a nationwide loss of confidence in all of the American establishment: political, media, cultural, business, financial. Sen. Bernie Sanders played on similar sentiments on the Democratic side and, had he known his potential sooner, could have won his party’s nomination.
There are some basic misapprehensions here. Most voters see abortion and gay rights as accepted issues and wonder why Democrats present them as threatened. They do not see racism as on the rise or the country as moving back toward Jim Crow. On the contrary, they see several decades in which the barriers to equal opportunity, legal or otherwise, have been steadily dismantled. They do worry about the problems of big-city neighborhoods: violence, drug use, broken families, unemployment, daunting dropout and incarceration rates. But they see little evidence that “white privilege” is the cause. They like immigrants and refugees but generally believe everyone should take a legal path to citizenship.
There are several Democratic voices struggling to get beyond the demonization, pathologizing, and other excuse mongering. Such attacks only cause the Democrats to move further left and double down on the contempt for the voters that cost them so dearly. Ignoring reality avoids the pain of the loss, but offers no path to redemption.