This is a black week. Those of us who have supported financial capitalism are open to the charge that the system we championed has merely enabled a few spivs to get rich. But it helped produce healthy economic growth and low inflation for a generation. It would take a very big recession indeed to wipe out those gains. Do not forget that in the debate ahead.
Yet the Republican Party’s decision to rely so heavily on Nixon’s 1972 template is nevertheless depressing. Aren’t Republicans supposed to deplore the politics of victimhood? Conservatives make a good case that treating minority groups as victims diminishes America and institutionalises dependency. But when it comes to election-time they not only play the politics of victimhood, but play it with extraordinary relish, presenting ordinary Americans as the victims of diabolical conspiracies.