Donald Trump has been declared the 45th President of the United States, with a solid Republican majority in both the House and Senate—a total, shocking disaster for Democrats. No one expected a rout like this. After all the weeping is over, we must learn lessons from this defeat, with an eye to the future.
It’s an old saw that many battles are lost because the generals fight the last war, ignoring how the times have changed. After 12 straight years of Republican rule in the White House (Reagan and Bush Sr.), Bill Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council moved the party to the right, convinced that traditional New Deal leftism was obsolete and incapable of winning general elections. That may have been true then and yesterday, but this stance was blown out of the water in 2016, when Americans said they were fed up with the bipartisan establishment that has ruled Washington for the past few decades—no more Bushes and no more Clintons!