Yes, there was fraud. No, we don’t know the extent of it. No, it probably won’t change the result, even if that’s not what you want to hear. I’m not here to hold your hand. What’s interesting, though, is that despite apparently ridding themselves of the Evil Cheeto at long last, the strange alliance of soulless neoliberals and Marxist lunatics isn’t happy. Suspiciously, everywhere else but at the top of the ticket, they got wiped out. The polls were wrong yet again and America First populism was far from repudiated. Instead, it saw renewed strength.
Even if Trump goes, his movement is far from over, and this terrifies them. Inevitably, a rotting corpse administration would ignore and belittle all the problems that led to Trump in the first place. In fact, they’re already starting. Meanwhile, with declining health, little intelligence, no charisma whatsoever, a platform that will just be the business as usual mixture of war and grift, and no Trump to play off of, he and his even more unlikable lieutenant will hardly be positioned to hold his party’s base together. Meanwhile the Republican Party, now fully emerged from its 80’s time capsule, is more energized and unified than ever before.
Welcome to the Seventh Party System.
In American political science, a Party System is an alignment of the two major political parties in terms of their platforms, communication styles, and supporting regions and demographics. As with all things, these systems change over time, and get solidified by realigning elections. You’ll recall that this concept was discussed in Stumped:
Every so often in American history, there is what many political scientists call a realigning election. In these elections, new electoral coalitions arise to deal with new issues which supersede the old ones in prominence, new methods of campaigning are often introduced, and generally a new political zeitgeist is formed for the coming era. One party may rise to dominance at the expense of the other in this process as they shift their general platforms to take on the new issues.
A good example of a realigning election is 1828.
In 2016, I said that we were witnessing a realigning election. That process was completed in 2020. As I predicted then, Donald Trump greatly increased his support among black voters in addition to younger voters (specifically the 30-44 category) and ancestral white Democrats. I did not anticipate that he would increase his support amongst Hispanics even more, but it shouldn’t be surprising. A working class populist message cuts across all racial lines and that’s the point.
When we look at the new zeitgeist of the Seventh Party System, we have learned and can expect the following.
#1 There is no emerging permanent Democratic majority
This is the thing that really scared the bejeezus out of them. This is why they’re so unhappy. The root cause of the acceleration of leftist subversion since 2013 – the cancel culture, the mobs, the openly degenerate rituals and events, the blatant dereliction of duty in the “defund the police” saga – stemmed from their belief in the wake of the 2012 election that they had an emerging, inevitable, permanent majority. That was proven untrue in 2016, but the usual suspects summoned all sorts of cognitive dissonance to handwave that election away as a fluke, most infamously with the Russia hoax.
There’s no room for that this time. Not only did Trump nearly replicate his 2016 performance in the “blue wall” states (not accounting for fraud, that is), he improved greatly among all minority groups and even white women. His margin in Miami-Dade County in Florida was a stunning and historic 46%. He won or nearly won some of the most Hispanic counties in the country along the Rio Grande. He nearly won 20% of black men. He even improved among the most reliable Democratic constituency – black women. He crushed it with Native Americans – look at the Lumbee vote in North Carolina for just one example. It seems the only demographic he did worse with was, ironically white men (and thus the country fails my moral test).
Granted, a lot of this comes from exit polls, and exit polls suck even worse than the normal polls you see, but those county results tell you the story. There’s a reason Democrats are so miserable this week, despite having “won.”
If these trends continue, the Democrats can say goodbye to their fever dream of a permanent majority.
Whether they will is dependent on the extent the Republican Party embraces the Seventh Party System and an appropriate platform for it. The Boomer dinosaurs like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham won’t want to do it, but their influence is waning and Father Time will catch up with most of them this decade, in any case. The younger generations understand the reality of the Seventh Party System and the rest of what it entails.
#2 The electorate will be more divided along class, rather than racial lines
What do Lumbee voters in North Carolina have in common with black men in urban environments, and what similarities do white voters in rural Pennsylvania share with Cuban, Venezuelan, and Colombian Americans in Miami?
The answer is that these people all work and none of them hate their country.
When Donald Trump crushed Republican orthodoxy, he opened the door to this much broader coalition.
Ronald Reagan was an icon and excellent persuader who defined the Sixth Party System, but he had been out of office for 26 years by the time Trump came down that escalator. For a while, the party was able to ride his momentum, but the country had changed dramatically since he left office in 1989, and by 2008, his ghost had gone. Yet, the Republican Party didn’t get the message and still tried to walk in the great man’s shoes, all the while the left was coalescing its coalition, tactics, and platform for the coming era under Barack Obama.
The result was that the Republican Party appealed to an electorate that no longer existed. There is simply no appetite for a combination of unfettered free markets and free trade (neoliberalism), limitless immigration, neoconservative foreign policy, and quasi-conservative social policy that never actually conserves anything but does wave religion in your face. The only people who do have this appetite are a shrinking and increasingly irrelevant collection of affluent white talking heads (the true plutocracy were already Democrats anyway). This is where the idea of a permanent Democratic majority came from.
Donald Trump changed all of that. By hearing “the forgotten men and women,” he created a platform that gave the party a much broader base to draw from. There is no appetite for the old party platform, but there is an appetite for economic nationalism and populism, foreign policy realism, and a non-insane culture. This appetite cuts across racial lines, as we clearly saw in this election.
There is a popular saying in recent years that the right can go left on economics, but the left can’t go right on culture, and that is important in understanding the Seventh Party System and the shifts we’re seeing.
Since 2014, I have said that the left’s coalition is unstable. The Democratic Party was always the party of the wealthy white electorate and it is now increasingly an alliance of these plutocrats, with their neoliberal/war mongering approach to governance, and Marxist identity politics activists. It’s basically grift, war, and a culture that blames white men for everything that’s wrong.
As Tucker Carlson brilliantly said the other night, the only demographic this platform appeals to is unhappy gender studies majors at Duke. There are many contradictions inherent to it.
Meanwhile, the minority voters the Democratic Party claims to represent are significantly more culturally conservative than the whites that run it. While the Democrats “police culture issues,” in the words of Andrew Yang, they also alienate themselves from the minorities they claim to champion by caring little about their financial futures.
Who do you think got most hurt by the riots that woke whites encouraged this summer?
In the Seventh Party System, the divide and party coalitions will be based far more on class than on race. The Democratic Party increasingly represents those who have large amounts of economic, and more importantly, social capital, while the Republican Party increasingly represents middle and working class voters with less prestigious and powerful social networks.
Put more simply, the Seventh Party System is small business and American enterprise and its workers vs. woke global capital and corporate workers. On social issues, this is a good summation:
Trump's social conservatism is a viable one of opposing political correctness, gender hysteria, and global cosmopolitanism which devalues national culture/sovereignty. It is not the so-con stuff of GWB and the GOP before him. https://t.co/hVWem69lQc
— Cotto/Gottfried (@CottoGottfried) November 14, 2020
#3: The new battleground states
As we saw in 2016 and again in 2020, the map looks much different than we’re used to – a sure sign that we’ve transitioned into the Seventh Party System. The primary battleground states going forward will be Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia, and Arizona, along with Maine and Nebraska’s second congressional districts. The secondary battleground states will be Minnesota and Nevada, whose demographics make them more competitive in future cycles of this era.
In the far future, there is a potential for New Mexico and even Illinois and New York to reach competitive status as the system peaks (party systems last for 30-40 years on average). You might call that crazy talk, but Donald Trump did exceptionally well in Illinois and New York, the best performance for a Republican there since the 1980s. They otherwise resemble the rust belt, demographically, and with hollowing out populations and stagnant urban centers, they could become more competitive to a working class message.
What about the typical battleground states, the ones we’re all used to?
Ohio has become a safe Republican state. Its resistance to the Democratic national mood of 2018 and Donald Trump’s victory in the perennially blue, working class Mahoning County this year attests to that. All the Republicans need to do is stay true to the working and middle class nationalism that Trump bequeathed to it and the state will stay in the red column. It’s a wonderful achievement, but it will lose electoral votes after the next census.
Colorado is now too young and too high-networked professional class to be competitive for a Republican in the Seventh Party System, unless the turnout is abnormally low, and even that’s a stretch. It will gain electoral votes after the next census.
Iowa is much the same as Ohio, though I’m not sure how it will fare after the census.
Virginia, that once safe Republican state, is now safely Democratic. This election removed any doubt about that. The northern part of the state is simply too populated with upscale, high-networked professionals and new immigrants for the rural, working parts of the state to counter. I’m not sure how it will fare in its electoral vote count after the next census. The bigger danger going forward for the Republican Party, and opportunity for the Democrats, is that Georgia is in serious danger of becoming the next Virginia in future cycles of the Seventh Party System.
What about Florida, that mother of all battleground states? It will remain close, and can never be taken for granted, but it unmistakably leans red now. That it held out during the D+8 national mood of 2018 is significant. Donald Trump won it in a comparative romp this year. The leading political figures in the state: Ron DeSantis, Marco Rubio, and Rick Scott, are three of the brightest stars in the Republican Party. The Florida GOP organization may be the best in the country and it has shrunk Democrats’ registration advantage to less than 150,000 with no signs of stopping. Meanwhile, there is still plenty of room for Republicans to grow with white working class and Hispanic voters throughout the state, and to a lesser extent, with black voters, all the while more seniors move there. Florida will also gain electoral votes. Again, this is a fantastic achievement for the Republican Party and a heavy blow to the Democrats.
Though not a battleground, Texas, as I’ve long suspected, will be closer than before but is likely to stay safe Republican for a long time yet to come. Hispanic voters there are trending Republican too fast to make it a state that Democrats can reach. It’s also going to gain electoral votes after the next census.
This is all assuming that Democrats don’t get to grant amnesty for illegal aliens, of course. If that’s the case, kiss Florida and Texas goodbye, and with them, any chance for a Republican national coalition.
The Seventh Party System will be defined by rural areas and middle class suburbs against the more upscale, highly populated, high-social networked suburbs. There will also be a more intense competition for voters in urban areas than we’re used to seeing. Donald Trump’s success in New York, Miami, Chicago, and Los Angeles this year, among other examples, testifies to that.
None of this is to say we can expect Republicans to actually win urban enclaves, though Miami is starting to look like a real possibility. Nevertheless, because these population centers are so large, any vote margin shift in them can prove decisive, along with variations in turnout there.
#5 Big media vs. guerilla marketing
Last year, I pondered whether Donald Trump could beat the media again, noting that since Stumped was first released, censorship on social media had increased dramatically, and that this in turn empowered the typical media narratives. We unfortunately saw the result with this election. The media’s power has therefore not been reduced by as much as Stumped anticipated.
On the other hand, we also saw that money and advertising spending isn’t what it used to be. Donald Trump got outspent by something like 3:1 and yet the corpse only “won” by a razor-thin margin. This is to say nothing of the Senate and other downballot races, where Democrats burned billions of dollars in great big bonfires for almost nothing. This is in line with what Stumped predicted.
To wit, traditional and even digital advertising just isn’t the best way to persuade these days. People are too sensitive to advertising now, especially en masse. To be sure, the candidate that can spend more on defining an opponent that lacks familiarity will have an advantage, but on the whole, it just isn’t the best way to persuade.
In Robert Greene’s Art of Seduction, the reader is told that the way to orchestrate a mass seduction is by starting out as news, not publicity. That is what populist party operatives in the Seventh Party System must understand.
In this new era, the Democrats will always have the advantage in traditional advertising and, until big tech is brought to heel (a major Seventh Party System issue), will have that factor on their side as well, along with advertising disguised as news courtesy of the fake news media.
So what’s the Republican Party to do to counter this? They have to focus on ground-up messaging and culture creation. Fortunately for the party, its devotees have already demonstrated far more capability at this than their leftist counterparts, which is why social media censorship became such an urgent need for the establishment in the first place.
Through such actions as memes, “weaponized autism,” short, informative, and energetic news-related clips that can go viral, Republicans have drastically upped their messaging, and it is far more cost-effective, to say nothing of the news Trump’s rallies generate. To take this to the next level, the Republican Party needs to be much more proactive in generating news, rather than reacting to the media as it did before Donald Trump. It also needs to create popular culture and not react to it. Imagine how much less relevant the Democrats would be if they didn’t act as gatekeepers to recognition?
The party needs more journalists and aesthetes and less dorks in free market think tanks.
— desmond huxley (@shimmer_kid) November 14, 2020
Some chatter is going around that Trump wants to start his own media empire to topple Fox News. This is a good idea and he should go much further. It should be used to promote the next generation of Republican leaders and the populist counterculture that has been forming.
On the whole, though, we will see a competition in the Seventh Party System between big media conglomerates and informal, grassroots networks that operate by newsy-word-of-mouth publicity campaigns.
We have entered a new world. Things seem bleak now to be sure. The Seventh Party System contains much danger because one political organization is dead set on subverting the national polity that it so clearly hates. In the short term, we are set to enter the Empire of Lies, but those empires can’t, by nature, last. There is great opportunity to be a dynamic part of the Seventh Party System and in on the ground floor.
After all, the original meaning of the word “hero” was “he who is worthy.”
And as you’ll read in Lives of the Luminaries, when heroes come, they come from nowhere, and shake the world in their wake.
This just about sums the Seventh Party System in a nutshell:
Old right: Standing athwart history, yelling stop.
New right: Making history with dragon energy.
— J.M. Carpenter (@Duke_Libertas) November 13, 2020
For more about the Seventh Party System, read Stumped, which anticipated it, and even with Trump gone, it will continue to be relevant in that way.