After the most unusual election in modern U.S. history came the most unusual transition, to be followed, surely, by the most unusual presidency. As David Bowie might say, it is time to turn and face the strange.
Global elites need to recognize that the masses that they spit on, as they try to change their worlds, are immune to their consultations—they’re quite aware what they’re going through. Walter Russell Mead’s article in our lead package traces the Jacksonian revolt that powered Donald Trump’s stunning victory, focusing in particular on his voters’ defense of a community they perceived to be under attack from above and below. Arthur Brooks’ lament for Americans’ lost sense of dignity later in the issue adds another side to the same story.
Bubble-wrapped cosmopolitans clearly need to broaden their perspectives and engage the full reality of their fellow citizens’ lives. But so, too, do angry populists—especially those who ascend to political power. It’s one thing to score points by bashing the establishment during the heat of a campaign; it’s another to do so once you are in charge of that same establishment and responsible for shaping the fates of hundreds of millions of people at home and billions abroad.