Why did so many Obama voters go for Trump in 2016? What happens when party elites don’t know how to react to changes of popular opinion at the ground level? While they may try to do both: keep the elite and powerful happy as well as absorb the populist movement, the two establishment parties often fail. Sometimes with most unpleasant results, such as the Civil War and the election of Trump. In his new book Crisis! When Political Parties Lose the Consent to Rule, author and labor organizer Cedric deLeon argues that the Clinton wing in 2009 intentionally crushed Obama’s “New New Deal” agenda, so social and economic inequalities were left to fester, leading directly to the ascension of Trump to the White House. And in discussing the crises that led to the Civil War, deLeon argues that the myth that slave owners caused southern secession is wrong, that these wealthy elites wanted to remain in the Union! DeLeon cites recent strikes in red states like Kentucky and West Virginia as examples of ways to force the parties back to serving the popular will.

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