My favorite political writer, Kevin Williamson, writes in The National Review, Impeachment and The Broken Truce:
The ruling class very strongly preferred Hillary Rodham Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016. Donations from people associated with Goldman Sachs to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign outnumbered those to Trump’s campaign 70 to 1. (Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona was a larger recipient of Goldman Sachs–affiliated money in 2016 than was Trump.) Among bankers at large, Clinton’s donations led Trump’s 7 to 1. Among people affiliated with Harvard, Mrs. Clinton’s edge was 200 to 1. Facebook money favored Clinton 100 to 1; Apple money favored her 135 to 1; Google favored her 76 to 1; Exxon Mobil favored her 4 to 1; Walmart favored her 3 to 1. Mrs. Clinton led Trump 4 to 1 among securities and investing donors, 20 to 1 among lawyers and law firms, 4 to 1 among those in the film and television business, 3 to 1 among those in health care, and 3 to 2 among real-estate people. Which is to say, Mrs. Clinton was by far the preferred candidate of Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the Ivy League, Big Business, medical staff, lawyers, and real-estate developers, to say nothing of government workers and their unions.
And even with all that support, and even as she ran up her totals in a handful of large and lopsidedly Democratic states, Donald Trump won a majority of the voters in a majority of the states.
The Democrats talk a good game about representing the poor and the left-behind, but it is worth keeping in mind which class’s ox actually was gored in 2016: It was Harvey Weinstein’s class and Sergey Brin’s, that of law partners and Harvard Business School graduates, Wall Street operators and hospital administrators — much more management than labor. The real class dynamic at work sometimes shows its face in Democratic complaints about “poorly educated whites” and the implicit (often exaggerated) blue-state subsidy to the red states. Understanding the actual social dynamic at work there makes the political bitterness easier to understand, as is the story, only partly flattering, the metropolitan progressives tell themselves: “We run the businesses that create the jobs and pay the taxes and make the economy grow, we have the money and the education, we are the innovators — why shouldn’t we rule?”
With the current reach and configuration of the federal government, occupying the White House not only gives one tribe or the other an opportunity to pursue ordinary policy interests but also to in effect make compliance with its metaphysical assumptions (religious or otherwise) mandatory, with obedience enforced at the point of federal bayonets. This makes the cultural de-escalation of the presidency impossible and renders inevitable the continuing aggrandizement of the office, its power, and its occupant. That is how the “chief magistracy” occupied by Washington, Adams, and Jefferson evolved into an imperial cult, which is what the American presidency has become.
The truce is broken, our politics has descended into restrained (for now) tribal warfare, and the presidency has been remade into a weapon of mass domination.
If you think this is all about a telephone call to Kyiv, look again.
A complex government will always be ruled by elites, but in the past the elites came from a diversified geography. Now they are more concentrated on the coasts, and intellectually they have become even more isolated from most of America; hailing from the same universities, from the same courses taught by professors with a singular world view. The idea of virtue in a leader was one who would subvert his own interests to the greater good of the nation. Their privileges were tolerated as long as the rest thought they had a voice.
Whatever the merits of the impeachment proceedings, the supporters of Trump see a process that ignored the corruptions of Hillary (Fusion GPS, Uranium One, Clinton Foundation contributions, file server), Joe Biden, and even Barak Obama (imagine the outrage if the hot mic comment to Medvedev had come from Trump’s lips). This impeachment process may only remind the Trumpers why they voted for him in the first place.
Angelo Codevilla wrote about this in 2010 in America’s Ruling Class—And the Perils of Revolution. Originally published in the American Spectator, I remember the controversy it stirred at the time.
The opening paragraph:
The only serious opposition to this arrogant Ruling Party is coming not from feckless Republicans but from what might be called the Country Party—and its vision is revolutionary.
Selena Zito and Brad Todd wrote The Great Revolt that further explained the sentiment of Codevilla and how it played out in 2016. They parsed the data in greater detail than Kevin, but they explain the motives for districts that swung from strong Obama supporters TWICE to strong Trump supporters. Trump’s election was the result not the cause of a division allowed to fester before he ever decided to run.
The elite have remained in outrage mode, blaming everything for this upset except their own complicity in marginalizing a very large segment of the nation, first with neglect and then compounded with contempt.