The challenge for the Left is that while the Republican party is mainly a coalition of ideologies, the Democratic party is mainly a coalition of interest groups, and the current model of Democratic politics — poor and largely non-white people providing the muscle and rich white liberals calling the shots — is unsustainable. The social attitudes of non-white voters are pretty plainly not those of white liberals, and, at the same time — and probably more significant — the economic interests of white liberals are pulling away from those of the people in whose interest they purport to act. Hispanic immigrants and urban blacks make below-average wages; public-school administrators and other government employees make wages that are well above average. There aren’t a lot of people in Cleveland’s Glenville who give a fat furry rat’s patootie how much interest Caitlyn from Bryn Mawr is paying on the student loans that financed her women’s-studies degree. If you’re wondering why Democrats lean so deeply into the racial rhetoric — Joe Biden’s shameful “They want to put y’all back in chains!” etc. — that’s a big part of your answer.

Democrats gleefully predict that demographic changes are going to give their party a permanent majority. The unspoken corollary to that is that white liberals think they’re going to remain in charge of it.

Houston showed the fissure in the Democratic coalition. The state of the cities, of the schools, of urban public finances, of the black family, of unassimilated immigrant communities, of the criminal-justice system — all point to an opportunity and a political duty for Republicans — not conservatives, but Republicans, the ones looking to be elected to public office — to step in with the offer of something better. Black and Hispanic voters — and single women and gays, for that matter — do not have a mystical attachment to the party of Anthony Weiner and Chuck Schumer. But it isn’t reading Hayek essays that’s going to get them to climb over the fence. What Republicans have to offer is a better deal. Everybody knows what the Democrats are putting on the table.