Trump: Where the GOP Has Been Heading All This Time

Trump.  The GOP so richly deserves him.  There’s lots of good stuff being written about him and what his popularity in some circles means, more every day.  I liked this NYRB piece by Michael Tomasky.  Take a few minutes to read the whole piece, but here’s a crucial point:


Donald Trump; drawing by James Ferguson

Is Trump not the logical culmination of where Republican politics have been headed for many years now, going back to the Clinton and Bush presidencies, but especially during the tenure of Barack Obama? Two qualities more than any others have driven conservatism in our time. The first is cultural and racial resentment, felt by the mostly older and very white population the GOP increasingly represents—resentment against a fast-changing, more openly sexual America, as well as against dark-skinned immigrants, and White House occupants, and gay people and political correctness and the “moocher class” and all the rest. The second is what we might call spectacle—the unrelenting push toward a rhetorical style ever more gladiatorial and ever more outraged (and outrageous), driven initially by talk-radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and now reproduced on websites, podcasts, and Twitter feeds too numerous to mention. There is a strong tendency, perfected over the years by Fox News, to cover and discuss domestic politics as a combination of war, sport, and entertainment all at once.

Well, Trump is conservative resentment and spectacle made flesh.