Sunday, August 23, 2015

Donald Trump and Jacksonian Populism.

The Trump Virus and Its Symptoms. By Charles C.W. Cooke. National Review Online, August 10, 2015.

The Nihilistic Populism of Donald Trump. By Walter Russell Mead. The American Interest, August 11, 2015.

Donald Trump, the Hipster Candidate. By Tom Nichols. The Federalist, August 11, 2015.

Donald Trump: The Golden Haired Sun Eater Who Says “Go America.” By Ben Domenech. The Federalist, August 12, 2015.

Angry Taxpayers, Not Stupid People, Are Backing Trump. By D.C. McAllister. The Federalist, August 12, 2015.

Trump Derangement Syndrome. By Esther Goldberg. The American Spectator, August 17, 2015.

America Needs Better, Classier Immigration Reformers. By Nicholas M. Gallagher. The American Interest, August 20, 2015.

Of Nationalists and Cosmopolitans. By Walter Russell Mead. The American Interest, August 21, 2015.

Le Donald, and Western Democracy’s Populism Problem. By Benjamin Haddad and Neil Rogachevsky. Foreign Policy, August 21, 2015.

Are Republicans for Freedom or White Identity Politics? By Ben Domenech. The Federalist, August 21, 2015.

The Secret to Donald Trump’s Massive Rise in the Polls. By Matt Purple. The National Interest, August 22, 2015.

Saving America from a European Future. The American Interest, August 23, 2015.

Donald Trump Is Not a Populist. He’s the Voice of Aggrieved Privilege. By Jeet Heer. The New Republic, August 24, 2015.

Donald Trump’s Secret Weapon: The Silent Majority? By Robert W. Merry. The National Interest, August 27, 2015.

America Is So in Play. By Peggy Noonan. Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2015.


America is so in play.

And: “the base” isn’t the limited, clich├ęd thing it once was, it’s becoming a big, broad jumble that few understand.


On the subject of elites, I spoke to Scott Miller, co-founder of the Sawyer Miller political-consulting firm, who is now a corporate consultant. He worked on the Ross Perot campaign in 1992 and knows something about outside challenges. He views the key political fact of our time as this: “Over 80% of the American people, across the board, believe an elite group of political incumbents, plus big business, big media, big banks, big unions and big special interests—the whole Washington political class—have rigged the system for the wealthy and connected.” It is “a remarkable moment,” he said. More than half of the American people believe “something has changed, our democracy is not like it used to be, people feel they no longer have a voice.”

Mr. Miller added: “People who work for a living are thinking this thing is broken, and that economic inequality is the result of the elite rigging the system for themselves. We’re seeing something big.”

Support for Mr. Trump is not, he said, limited to the GOP base: “The molecules are in motion.” I asked what he meant. He said bars of support are not solid, things are in motion as molecules are “before combustion, or before a branch breaks.”

I end with this. An odd thing, in my observation, is that deep down the elite themselves also think the game is rigged. They don’t disagree, and they don’t like what they see—corruption, shallowness and selfishness in the systems all around them. Their odd anguish is that they have no faith the American people can—or will—do anything to turn it around. They see the American voter as distracted, poorly educated, subject to emotional and personality-driven political adventures. They sometimes refer to “Jaywalking,” the old Jay Leno “Tonight Show” staple in which he walked outside the studio and asked the man on the street about history. What caused the American Civil War? Um, Hitler? When did it take place, roughly? Uh, 1958?

Both sides, the elites and the non-elites, sense that things are stuck.

The people hate the elites, which is not new, and very American. The elites have no faith in the people, which, actually, is new. Everything is stasis. Then Donald Trump comes, like a rock thrown through a showroom window, and the molecules start to move.

Donald Trump, Traitor to His Class. By Ross Douthat. New York Times, August 29, 2015.

The Donald and the Demagogues. By Bret Stephens. Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2015.

Bret Stephens and Trump. By Mark Bauerlein. First Things, September 2, 2015.

The Trump Movement Isn’t About Conservatism – It’s About Americanism. By Rush Limbaugh. Rush, September 2, 2015.

Limbaugh: Trump Movement Exposes Low Regard Conservative Intellectuals Have for Ordinary Americans. By Jeff Poor. Breitbart, Sept 2, 2015.

Is Trumpism supplanting Reaganism? By David Freddoso. Conservative Intel, September 7, 2015.