How Democrats become the conservative party

By any reasonable definition, Democrats are now the more conservative of America’s two parties. They are more interested than Republicans in conserving America’s international relationships, cultural norms, and political and economic institutions as they are.

This is evident among the party’s leaders. On Thursday, The New York Times profiled Steve Bannon, the new chief executive of Donald Trump’s campaign. “As the American financial system collapsed in the fall of 2008,” the Times explained, “Stephen K. Bannon began to fantasize about destroying something else: the elite economic and political establishment.” Essentially, Bannon entered the political arena to blow it up. Which makes sense given that he’s working for a candidate who has suggested scrapping NATO, defaulting on America’s debt, imposing massive tariffs on China, and using nuclear weapons. Trump’s election would immediately create more turmoil than the election of any president in modern American history.

While the Times was profiling Bannon, Vox was interviewing National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who declared, “This is a much more hopeful and positive period in history than we have seen certainly in our lifetimes.” The Obama administration, Vox’s Zack Beauchamp noted astutely, believes it is overseeing “trends that make this, in their eyes, the best time in human history to be alive” and “this results in a foreign policy focused—to a degree most people don’t appreciate—on protecting this system from threats.”