The editor of the Washington Free Beacon, Matthew Continetti, has an excellent column in the New York Times about why President Trump is likely to win reelection:
Behind the rise of outsider politicians such as Mr. Trump are the interrelated issues of unchecked immigration, terrorism and the imposition of carbon taxes and other measures to mitigate climate change. Elites' inability or lack of interest in tackling these problems — or even seeing them as problems — generates a crisis of representation in which large numbers of voters look for alternatives they cannot find within traditional political structures....What unites these issues is the idea that elites insulate themselves from the costs of the policies they impose on others.
It also struck me, though, that there is an alternative way of framing these issues, which is that they allow voters to direct their anger against an "other" and place blame for problems on that other — immigrants, Muslims/terrorists, radical environmentalists, elites.
It's a cliche in politics that you can't run just by being against something, you also have to be for something. But it's also the case that it often does help to be against something. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, politicians in America have scrambled to identify an "other" to be against. The Democrats (and even some Republicans at times) are trying "Wall Street" and "millionaires and billionaires" and "Big Tech" or "Big Pharma" and racist Trump Republicans or "white nationalists" or "the 1%" or "the wealthiest."
So if Continetti's argument, strong as it is, has a weak spot, it has to do with the chance that a Democrat might run a similarly themed campaign against elite insulation. Obviously the chances of success with that sort of message are stronger if the Democratic candidate isn't someone like Hillary Clinton who was raking in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs or someone like Elizabeth Warren of Cambridge, Mass., who was making $1 million a year with Bruce Mann as a husband-wife Harvard Law professor couple. But one shouldn't necessarily assume that Trump has a monopoly on the anti-elite theme going into 2020.