“…demagogues of the future can exploit the deep loneliness of a post-familial society”

If Trump were merely a problem for Conservatives (which he certainly is), we should ask why Hillary Clinton is struggling so badly? Ross Douthat has a thought provoking essay which argues public policy which ignores or negates family as a building block of society will eventually bite the new liberal mega coalition too:

A post-familial society may unleash tribal competition within the coalition of the diverse, as people reach anew for ethnic solidarity and then fight furiously over liberalism’s spoils.
Or else a technocratic and secular liberalism may simply not be satisfying to a fragmented, atomized society; there may be a desire for a left-wing authoritarianism to bind what’s been fragmented back together, in comradeship and common purpose.

In either case, the demagogues of the future will have ample opportunity to exploit the deep loneliness that a post-familial society threatens to create.

This loneliness may manifest in economic anxiety on the surface, in racial and cultural anxiety just underneath. But at bottom it’s more primal still: A fear of a world in which no one is bound by kinship to take care of you, and where you can go down into death leaving little or nothing of yourself behind.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • AndyB

    I think it’s as simple as mud-slinging at a pace fast enough to make sure it sticks until at least Tuesday before it falls off.

  • Granni Trixie

    I so agree. I also fear a legacy of this particular style of USA election is that in subsequent elections no rules of civility will be adhered to as in this election.

  • Abucs

    Look i think a lot of what he says is true. It is mistaken to think you can build a society not based on family ties. It is failing. Debt and immigration are hiding the failure to some degree but neither in the long run will help, but will exacerbate the problems. For those of us respectful of western civilisation it is tragic that it is committing a slow suicide under the false banner of progress.