Of the nineteen states Hilary Clinton won, only six do not have oceanfront property. (I have cheated a bit by including Connecticut in the ocean frontage states.) The only four ocean property states she lost are all south of Virginia: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The point? The Big Sort. Democrats are now clustered in cities and along the two coasts. The big switch in this election, of course, was that the mid-western states–Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin–went for Trump. Only Illinois (home of our second largest city) and Minnesota (by a thread) stayed blue. The middle of the country has been emptied out of the educated and the affluent for the most part. The exceptions are a few big cities. Given the way that the Electoral College, since it gives two freebie electoral college votes to match senate seats, is configured, winning only 19 states (as Clinton did) is a recipe for disaster. That’s how you win the popular vote, but lose the election.
But there is also the social impact of segregation–of the fact that Democrats don’t live near or interact with Republicans.
“The revolt of the elites” thesis basically comes down to this: the affluent have built a very nice bubble for themselves on the two coasts and have left the rest of the country to go to the dogs. That those left behind have focused their resentment on the chattering classes, the politicians, immigrants, blacks, and gays instead of on the business elites is one way to characterize the failure of the left. It’s an old American story that race animosity undermines potential class solidarity. I have no original thoughts on that conundrum.
When the civil rights movement created a black middle class, a new form of segregation–economic segregation–destroyed the earlier black communities where doctors and lawyers lived cheek by jowl with janitors. Now a similar same (economic not racial) segregation is true of white America–a product of growing economic inequality. The top 10% have created their enclaves–a fact reflected in property prices in those coastal cities–and non-affluent whites, those moving down the economic ladder, have been shunted to the Staten Islands and exurbs of our country, condemned to long commutes on clogged highways.
I don’t think you can ever overstate the evils that attend economic inequality.