By Mark Naison (July 6, 2017)
Historians are detectives. We follow the evidence to arrive at the best available explanation of why events take place. And to me, the trail of evidence to explain Donald Trump’s election doesn’t lead to Russia, it leads us into the inner workings of the Democratic Party- who leads it, who funds it, what issues does it highlight, whose interests does it represent. And what we will find, when we investigate closely, is that in state after state, the Democratic Party lost key elements of its working class base since 2008, especially but not exclusively among whites, and that the enthusiasm for its policies was shrinking among key constituencies.
Hillary Clinton was not a great candidate, but we should not forget that she actually ran AHEAD of other Democrats in states like Michigan and Wisconsin. Donald Trump, a former Democrat who decided to throw his hat in the Republican Presidential ring, took advantage of the Democratic Party’s weakness in 2016 in a way that was not yet possible in 2011.
Blaming Russia for his victory is a not very clever strategy by Democratic Party elites to avoid looking in the mirror and accepting responsibility for selling out their Party’s once honorable legacy as a defender of the living standards of working class America. And because those elites have retained their power and learned nothing, it is very likely that the Republicans will retain control of Congress in 2018 and that Donald Trump will be a two term president.