The Paradox of Trump’s Populism

By David A. Graham

Throughout the 2016 presidential election, there persisted among his opponents a Millenarian faith in the silver bullet that would end Donald Trump’s presidential hopes. There were multiple failed prophets and prophecies of this faith: Trump’s comments about Senator John McCain not being a war hero were going to take down his campaign. Then his feud with Megyn Kelly. Then his kid-glove treatment of David Duke. His attacks on Khizr Khan. The Access Hollywood tape. Some rumored but never delivered opposition-research in the last weeks of the campaign. Needless to say, none of these incidents were fatal to Trump’s campaign.

The underlying principle of this faith, shared by Democrats and never-Trump Republicans, was simple: Trump is a fraud, and eventually people are going to realize this. For the most part, those who believed Trump was a fraud have not changed their mind. Surprisingly, however, some of them still retain hope at this late date that something will make scales fall from Trump supporters’ eyes so that they will realize it too.

Wednesday night in Fargo, North Dakota, Trump took a shot at these critics, and some of them heard in his words yet another opportunity for Trump to be revealed as a fraud.

“They call them the elite. These people. I look at them, I say, that’s elite?” the president said. “We’ve got more money and more brains and better houses and apartments and nicer boats. We are smarter than they are. They say the elite. We are the elite. You are the elite.”

He added: “They’ve been stone-cold losers, the elite. Let’s keep calling them the elite … Let’s call ourselves the super elite.”

This was not the first time Trump has delivered a riff along these lines, but the specific wording—nicer boats? Better houses? …read more

Via:: The Atlantic


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