Rich Lowry has a piece up at Politico on how Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have moved the political center of gravity Leftward. It’s true that Trump and Sanders are both trade protectionists and anti-interventionists, but it’s hard to call these policies “liberal,” inasmuch as they were once typical of the Old Right.
More to the point, thinking about these candidates in terms of a Left vs. Right paradigm misses the much larger point that we are witnessing something entirely new and different—and dramatically more dangerous—than mere liberalism.
In what feels more like a European election, we now have a Nationalist and a Socialist utterly shocking the political establishments of their respective parties. Both candidacies have aroused violence among their passionate and frustrated supporters—and both have attempted to delegitimize the political process by claiming the system is “rigged.”
These trends are even more dangerous than the mere notion that Hillary is being pushed Leftward.
In America, we are used to partisan and ideological fights within the spectrum of what constitutes mainstream liberalism and conservatism. What we are not as used to are physical and rhetorical attacks on the integrity and efficacy of the American political system.