The New York Times has a conversation between David Brooks and Bret Stephens on the future of the Republican Party. It's uneven but worth a look. Highlights:
[Brooks:] Size-of-government arguments are going to be less salient. Values, identity and social status issues will be more salient. I think the core driver of politics across the Western democracies is this: In society after society, highly educated professionals have formed a Brahmin class. The top of the ladder go to competitive colleges, marry each other, send their kids to elite schools and live in the same neighborhoods. This class dominates the media, the academy, Hollywood, tech and the corporate sector.
Many people on the middle and bottom have risen up to say, we don't want to be ruled by those guys. To hell with their economic, cultural and political power. We'll vote for anybody who can smash their machine. The Republican Party is the party of this protest movement.
[Stephens:] Another way of thinking about the class/partisan divide you are describing is between people whose business is the production and distribution of words — academics, journalists, civil servants, lawyers, intellectuals — and people whose business is the production and distribution of things — manufacturers, drivers, contractors, distributors, and so on. The first group makes the rules for the administrative state. The latter lives under the weight of those rules, and will continue to be the base of the G.O.P.
Brooks is one of the great dichotomizers, but the danger with dichotomies is that they can be false, or oversimplified. One of the ironies is that the "Brahmin class" largely lives by values—two-parent families, marriage before children, keep physically fit—that are kind of old fashioned, while the "middle and bottom" are living not only under the weight of the "administrative state" but in the consequences of the chaos created in the 1960s and 1970s by the radicalism of the "new class" of academics, journalists, lawyers, intellectuals. They are suffering not only from the rules of the administrative state but from the absence of the rules that the "top of the ladder" folk publicly scorn but quietly themselves mostly follow.