How the left should respond to Donald Trump – Josie Pagani. 

Nearly everyone I went to school with in a working class part of rural England voted for Brexit. Everyone I went to university with voted to remain in Europe.

The working class in New Zealand is less likely to be white than in Britain or the United States. But working class Pacific and Maori voters have similar disconnections with the metropolitan liberals who dominate social democracy across the globe: while their economic mobility has been low and falling, they are uncomfortable about social liberalism.

This is not an argument against liberalism, but you have to ask why Maori are much less likely to be Labour today than they were in 1980. Pacific Island voters are Labour’s staunchest supporters, and also least respected within Labour’s networks, where they find disdain for their church values and lifestyles. 

Trump won because he had a better story than Hillary, with convenient villains (Mexicans, Muslims and Wall Street bankers). His supporters were voting on identity not policy. He made them feel good. Hillary failed by doubling down on what hasn’t worked before. She co-opted some of Trump’s rhetoric but sounded insincere. No one really believed Hilary was anti the TTP. Then her uninspiring campaign sent a message to working people – “the deplorables” – that they weren’t welcome. It was a dreary continuation of identity politics; “Vote for me, I’ll be the first female president”. Easy to see what was in that for Hillary. But the message failed to excite most women. Obama managed to get elected in 2008 without once saying “vote for me, I’ll be the first African American in the White House”.

NZ Herald 

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