The problem is sweeping, and it afflicts partisans of all stripes. This weekend, the Washington Post’s Dan Balz observed, “The discontent is real, whether economic, racial, or cultural. It knows no particular ideological boundaries. It currently disrupts both the Republican and Democratic parties.” Meanwhile, The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman note that, “On the left, young black activists, furious about discrimination and inequities in criminal justice, say the usual rhetorical nods toward equality, incremental increases in funding for housing or education, and vague promises of change from mainstream political leaders are inadequate,” and “on the right, by contrast, blue-collar conservatives have responded to Mr. Trump, who has given voice to their fears about what they see as America’s identity crisis.
“Yes, as is so often true these days, it comes back to Donald Trump. Consider his surge in popularity — not in spite of his comments about Mexicans being rapists (some, he assumes, are good people), but arguably because of them. And on the left, how about that Netroots Nation meeting where Bernie Sanders — a civil rights activist — was shouted down, and where former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was forced to apologize for daring to suggest that “all lives matter.”