The Progressive-Liberal Split
I've talked a lot about "South of Center" politics, and how I think there's actually a huge opening to be taken advantage there, if some politician were to get past the consultants and social media echo chamber, actively embracing a more liberal, open politics, and distinguishing themselves in that way.
It actually wouldn't shock me if AOC swerved in that direction. In fact, I kinda get the feeling that this might be something closer to her natural temperament.
I would not be surprised if this starts happening a little while after Trump leaves office, whenever that is.
The traditional tension between liberalism and progressivism is the progressive belief that liberalism tends to ignore pre-existing structural advantages in a way that unfairly keeps the privileged on top perpetually, even if all the supposed tenets of liberalism are totally egalitarian and fair.
When we had 8 years of our first black president and looked like we were on our way to our first woman president, it was easy for liberals to say, hey look, it takes some time but the system works, historically disadvantaged groups can rise to power on their own merit. Keep the liberalism flowing, and we'll peacefully transition into an egalitarian, truly meritocratic state.
Trump was pretty much a brick to the face for that claim, from the perspective of the left. No one was going to buy 'historical access to privilege and power and money doesn't give you an unfair advantage' in the face of a Trump presidency. Critics of liberalism got to say 'Keep the liberalism flowing and ancient imbalanced power structures will perpetuate themselves forever, we'll forever live in the type of ''meritocracy'' where the elites get born on third base and then claim to hit a home run.'
So the leftist pendulum has swung pretty hard against classic-liberal and meritocratic narratives since then, with a focus on finding other structural solutions.
If Elizabeth Warren wins the net presidential election, I could definitely see a lot of steam being let out of the system, and room for classic liberal attitudes opening back up.
If Trump wins again, especially if he does so in a way that appears to rely on abusing his current position of power to unfairly perpetuate the power of himself and the people he likes, exactly like the critics of liberalism say will always happen, then I think it's only going to get tougher and colder for the classic liberals out there.