Democrats are now the party of the rich, and Republicans are the party of the blue collar worker. So concludes Reihan Salam, writing in the liberal Slate, drawing on research by think tanker Lee Drutman, who shows that the wealthiest Americans now tend to vote for Democrats.
Why? Because the wealthy tend to be “socially liberal”; that is, they support abortion, gay rights, gun control, etc., etc. Contrary to how they usually describe themselves, they are not necessarily “fiscally conservative.” They are so affluent they don’t mind paying slightly higher taxes, and they want the government to provide health care and other benefits for the lower class that serves them. But they are far from Bernie Sanders-style socialists, being supportive of big banks and Wall Street.
Conversely, as we see in the ascension of Donald Trump, lower income workers–concerned about free trade, exporting jobs, and low wages, as well as what they see as America’s cultural decline–are voting Republican. This is all an exact reversal of just a few years ago. [Read more…]