It is primarily revulsion toward Trump personally — his vulgarity, his mendacity, the heedlessness and even nihilism of his approach to governance — rather than ideology that has led such prominent conservative voices as Will, Peggy Noonan, William Kristol and Bret Stephens to declare Trump a public menace and either endorse Joe Biden or express affinity for his cause.
Recent weeks, however, have pushed the ideological dimension closer to the surface. A combination of pandemic-driven fear for the future, rage over racial inequality or backlash to racial unrest and Trump’s scab-picking style of politics has amplified radical voices across the spectrum. In such an environment, there are a host of issues on which traditional liberals and traditional conservatives generally are more in sympathy with each other than they are with the most inflamed precincts of left or right.
What’s more, many of the questions on which liberals and conservatives share common assumptions have an intimate edge. That is, they touch on core values — how people perceive themselves and their place in the world — more than they do programmatic details of policy. Historically, values debates have the most staying power in American politics. This suggests the possibility of a fundamental shift in the ideological landscape, in ways that could create new divisions within both parties.