The January/February 2024 issue of The Atlantic is titled “If Trump Wins.” It features The Atlantic writers reflecting on how a Trump victory will affect democracy, international affairs, immigration, women, climate change, journalism, science, the judiciary, extremist groups, abortion, truth, school curriculum, civil rights, gender politics, the military, and the American psyche.
Here is Brownstein’s piece on blue America:
During his term in the White House, Donald Trump governed as a wartime president—with blue America, rather than any foreign country, as the adversary. He sought to use national authority to achieve factional ends—to impose the priorities of red America onto Democratic-leaning states and cities. The agenda Trump has laid out for a second term makes clear that those bruising and divisive efforts were only preliminary skirmishes.
Presidents always pursue policies that reflect the priorities of the voters and regions that supported them. But Trump moved in especially aggressive ways to exert control over, or punish, the jurisdictions that resisted him. His 2017 tax bill, otherwise a windfall for taxpayers in the upper brackets, capped the federal deductibility of state and local taxes, a costly shift for wealthy residents of liberal states such as New York and California. He moved, with mixed success, to deny federal law-enforcement grants to so-called sanctuary cities that didn’t fully cooperate with federal immigration agents. He attempted to strip California of the authority it has wielded since the early 1970s to set its own, more stringent pollution standards.
As president, Trump seemed to view himself less as the leader of a unified republic than as the champion of a red nation within a nation—one that constitutes the real America. If anything, Trump has assumed that factional role even more overtly in his 2024 campaign, promising that he will deliver “retribution” for his supporters and dehumanizing his opponents. Powered by such fetid resentments and grievances, the agenda Trump seeks to impose on blue cities and states could create the greatest threat to the nation’s cohesion since the Civil War.
Read the entire piece here.