Donald Trump will probably lose the election. But he is a final warning. Unless political elites of both the left and the right become more humble, unless they once again ask themselves how their agendas will play in Peoria, the next rough beast might slouch over the corpse of the republic.As Ibbitson notes, Peoria was, back in the day, seen as the ultimate example of Middle American values. And as he further explains, things aren't so great in Peoria these days:
Peoria is hurting. The city is home to Caterpillar. But the heavy-equipment giant has outsourced most of its work force overseas or to so-called right-to-work states.Yes, the sneer about right-to-work is a tell that Ibbitson is part of the Left, but like Thomas Frank, he senses the earth is moving. More:
But what does Washington care? The left worries more about combatting global warming than about blue-collar workers with bad backs and no jobs. The right promises to retrain them, but somehow never gets around to it.
Let’s not sign those trade deals until we know which jobs will be at risk and what we can do for those workers. Let’s not shut the coal mines without a thought for what will become of the miners. Don’t offer amnesty until you have control over the border. As we move to driverless cars and machine learning and an economy in which any action that is repeated can be automated, let’s spare a thought for the kids who only get Cs in school. What will become of them? What do you mean you have no idea? That’s your job! Let’s bring some small measure of consensus back to political culture. Let’s bring humility back. Let’s go back to asking: Will it play in Peoria? And if it won’t, then let’s think about that before we push ahead. Because you really, really don’t want to see what comes after Donald Trump.Hillary Clinton is asking for a poisoned chalice. She will get her wish.