The End of the Left and the Right as We Knew Them

By now it has become quite clear that conservative parties in Europe and the United States have been gaining strength from white voters who have been mobilized around issues related to nationalism — resistance to open borders and to third-world immigration. In the United States, this development has been exacerbated by ongoing conservative recruitment on issues of race that has reinforced opposition to immigration. …

Elections over the past two years here and in Britain, Austria, France and the Netherlands have demonstrated the depth of this transformation of the organized left and the organized right. Whatever the outcome of the voting in a particular country, a clear pattern appears. The emerging or nascent partisan divide has a strong cultural subtext: for or against “traditional values”; young versus old; rural versus urban; the college educated versus those without degrees; blue collar against white collar; us versus them; whites versus nonwhites; immigrant versus native born; European versus non-European. CONT.

Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times