What Happened? What Now?

With a few days to reflect and some unsettled sleep, I’ve been able to put together a few observations about how I think we can understand what happened in Tuesday’s election and what it may mean for our politics in the near and long term. Starting tomorrow and over the next several days, I will share my thoughts in a series of five posts:

  • Sorting It Out looks at how a white backlash that was only partially captured by the polls may have been a necessary step on the road to breaking our political stalemate
  • Change explores how the fundamental dynamics of the election were reflected in the outcome, even though the result was so surprising
  • The Hard Path gets into the reasons why any political realignment to emerge from our present politics is going to first require a tumultuous period of uncertainty and risk
  • Donald Trump as Jimmy Carter employs a little social science to suggest why Trump’s election looks like the final chapter in the Reagan regime rather than the start of a new and lasting political alignment
  • New Traffic Patterns Ahead is a very long post explaining what I believe will be the contours of political conflict post-Trump, and why scrambling the status quo could be a very good thing.

The thread running through these posts is uncertainty and opportunity. For those finding it hard to come to terms with what happened, I offer a long-term perspective with hopeful possibilities. And while no one knows how things are going to play out, it may be reassuring to know that history suggests there are encouraging scenarios that may seem unlikely today.