I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s been getting a little bit obsessed with Donald Trump in recent months. There’s certainly a risk of overstating the threat that he poses, such that a preoccupation with the man himself risks obscuring the systemic conditions that have facilitated his emerging status, but I’m increasingly convinced we’re witnessing what might be a culmination of sorts stemming from decades-long trends in American politics. Furthermore, it’s one which might lead to an existential change in the system itself, as an epochal realignment of voters and even the disintegration of the GOP begin to seem like possibilities.
This passage from Ezra Klein captures what I think is the ideological heart of this emerging movement and it’s rather sinister:
This is more than an aside; this is the core of Trump’s ideology. The protesters who interrupted his rally, the political correctness that kept the police from cracking their skulls, the press that takes the hippies’ side — this is why America has stopped being great. We were strong, and we were tough, and we didn’t take this kind of shit from anybody. And now we are weak, and we are scared, and we take this kind of shit from everybody.