Here’s Peggy Noonan, writing in the institutionally pro-immigration Wall Street Journal:
A great deal of time and money is about to be spent trying to prove Mr. Cantor’s primary loss in Virginia’s Seventh district had nothing to do with immigration. Well, the story that dominated every day of the campaign’s last two weeks was the flood of children, sometimes alone, streaming across the southern border. It gave a daily and visual sense of open borders, chaos, the collapse of law. While the U.S. government does nothing. And Eric Cantor is a high officer of one of that government’s branches. His opponent, David Brat, spent those weeks hammering Mr. Cantor on amnesty. His biggest talk-radio supporter, Laura Ingraham, hit again and again on the same subject. So, you know, immigration might have had something to do with the outcome. It was the real and present issue, the galvanic and immediate one. [Cantor Bows Out With Grace, June 12, 2014]
Noonan says that
“And Republicans do not trust their own party to do what is right for the country on immigration. They know the party leaders are for reform because they believe the GOP will lose the Hispanic vote forever if they don’t move forward. The base not unreasonably assumes that any reform will address the interests of the party and of Wall Street but not necessarily the nation. There is a real failure of trust here. Mr. Cantor got caught in it.”
Actually, of course, the leadership isn’t doing what’s in the interests of the party, but in the interests of its donors. But yes, “real failure of trust here”.
This is a quote from David Frum’s book, How We Got Here: The 70′S: The Decade That Brought You Modern Life-–For Better or Worse :
“In the 1950s and early 1960s, only about a quarter of Americans said “yes”to the question, “I don’t think public officials care much what people like me think.”That sad response rose to about one-third by the mid-1960s, to more than 40 percent in 1968, and to an outright majority of the population In 1976. By the mid-1970s, two-thirds of the public said “they felt what they think does not really count.” Sociologists would spend years puzzling over those numbers, but one ought not too quickly to reject the hypothesis that people felt that their views did not much countbecause in fact their views did not much count.”