What interests Thomas Frank is that the powerbrokers on the left believe that they can safely ignore the rightward shift of the working-class. Why? Because they believe that they can rely electorally on a "coalition of the ascendant," namely upper-class professionals, minorities and millenials (Generation Y).
These days, the big thinkers of the Democratic Party have concluded that they can safely ignore the things I described. They’ve got a new bunch of voters these days — the famous “coalition of the ascendant,” made up of professionals, minorities and “millennials” — and it pleases them to imagine that with this unstoppable army at their back they will win elections from here to eternity. There is no need to resolve the dilemmas I outlined in “Kansas,” no need to win back working-class voters or solve wrenching economic problems. In fact, there is no need to lift a finger to do much of anything, since vast, impersonal demographic forces are what rescued them from the trap I identified. They now have the luxury of saying, as Paul Krugman did on the day after the 2012 election, “Who cares what’s the matter with Kansas?”
That's interesting. In Australia politicians still have to win over some of the working-class vote to get over the line. So they still have to be seen to care to some degree, at least around election time. But what happens when that's no longer necessary? It seems that the left-wing party can then drop the pretence.
Maybe we traditionalists will end up working amongst those left behind.