Victor Davis Hanson on Donald Trump

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Hanson is one of my very favorite writers and he brings his intellectual firepower to the table with this analysis of Donald Trump's appeal to the common man.

From National Review:

White versus White America
Why do the angry white poor and working class support the unlikely populist Donald Trump — a spoiled bully who made and lost fortunes in part by gaming the system, who seems to take gratuitous rudeness and cruelty as a birthright, whose lifestyle is symptomatic of American excess, and who for the last half-century has embraced no ideology other than Trump, Inc.?

Perhaps it’s because Trump is a phantasm. He is not a flesh-and-blood candidate judged as crude or acceptable on the basis of the usual criteria. His attraction rests on about 100 sound bites over the last year that shattered taboos and attacked elite sacred cows, in a manner that no candidate has done in the past — or is likely to do in the future. Trumpism is nihilism. A reckless Trump had no political career or social capital to lose, unless one thinks that The Apprentice discriminates against the outrageous and crass, or that the New York real-estate industry blackballs prevaricators.

His supporters would prefer to lose with Trump than win with a sober and judicious politician such as Jeb Bush or Paul Ryan. If Trump or Hillary is elected as a result of white-middle-class furor or abdication, the Republican establishment pays either way. Trump’s constituents see him as their first and last chance at getting back at their enemies and, more importantly, the enablers of their enemies. Trump is a gladiator, and his supporters are shrieking, thumbs-down spectators. Sheathing his blood-stained blade would empty the stadium and put him back on The Apprentice. Does a Kim Kardashian suddenly stop flashing her boobs on YouTube in worry over what others might think?

A bit more:

What is the perceived white elite? Perhaps a Hillary Clinton raking in $300,000 per half hour at UCLA or shaking down Wall Street for $600,000, even as she pontificates on privilege and the dangers of racism (obviously embraced, in her view, by whites other than those of her class). Or a Chelsea Clinton deprecating the attraction of riches, as her Wall Street internships and marriage perpetuate the Clinton model of pay-for-play enrichment — all to be camouflaged by professions of progressive empathy. Or an elite media that snores when an ex-president of the United States jumps on the private plane of convicted child-assaulter Jeffrey Epstein for a trip to his fantasy island. Or a former anti-government “conservative” congressman who hangs around Washington and mysteriously becomes a multimillionaire leveraging his past government service. Our popular culture is one of Pajama Boy, Mattress Girl, and the whiny, nasal-toned young metrosexual with high-water pants above his ankles and horn-rimmed glasses who “analyzes” on cable news. Is it any wonder that millions sympathized with the heroism of Benghazi’s middle-class defenders rather than with the contortions of the far better-educated, smoother, more sensitive, and wealthier Rhodes scholar Susan Rice, novelist Ben Rhodes, or former First Lady Hillary Clinton?

Hanson is 100% spot on - a lot more at the site. As I said, one of my favorite writers.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 12, 2016 8:34 PM.

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