While President Donald Trump does that thing that he does -- shoving the polls of American public discourse further and further apart -- some journalists have quietly started focusing attention on the fact that the Democratic Party is in horrible shape at the regional and state levels.
Why is that, precisely? Inquiring journalists want to know.
Obviously, a group like Democrats for Life is going to have a different take on that question than the young activists marching under the Bernie Band banner. Never forget, in the age of Nones, that religiously unaffiliated Americans, along with the core atheist-agnostic demographic, now make up the Democratic Party's largest identifiable choir on matters of morality, religion and culture.
With that in mind, check out the headline on that Time magazine cover at the top of this post. The headline inside is less spectacular: "Divided Democratic Party Debates Its Future as 2020 Looms."
Now, if you are old enough (like, well, me) to remember the rise of the Reagan Democrats and the fall of the populist Democrats in the South, then you know that social, moral and, yes, religious issues have played a major role in that political drama.
Yes, economic issues were crucial and they still are in the Rust Belt and elsewhere in the American heartland. However, there is a reason that wits on the left started referring to "flyover" country as "Jesusland."
However, read this Time think piece and see if the political desk there has any clue that the stark divisions in American life are based on cultural issues, as well as radical changes in the nation's economy. I mean, wasn't that the whole logic of the book "What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America," that GOP strategists were using moral, cultural and religious issues to distract Middle America from its true economic interests?
Here is the Time overture:
Like virtually all Democrats, Tim Ryan is no fan of Donald Trump. But as he speeds through his northeastern Ohio district in a silver Chevy Suburban, the eight-term Congressman sounds almost as frustrated with his own party.