Solid Trumpism

ImagesRonald Aronson: Donald Trump has the most stable approval rating of any president since Harry Truman.

’To understand the stability of this support, we must free ourselves from the prevailing fixation on Trump himself as the explanation for Trumpism. True, he has a cunning charisma; using very ordinary bearing and diction, he makes repeated chest-thumping references to being very rich, conveys a sense of his own genius, and relishes a near-total freedom to say and do anything. But the reason these tactics succeed is that they resonate with his base. “He tells it like it is” is still a common refrain among his supporters, meaning “how we really feel” behind the veil of political correctness. And so, unwaveringly, they devour each outrageous statement and eagerly anticipate the next.

Trump’s secret to success is that he expresses their values, angers, and evasions, their deep sense of alienation and grievance—cultural and social far more than economic. If he wins in 2020 it will be no fluke, as many concluded about 2016, but because a critical number of Americans have embraced that message. As campaign season takes off, we must not delude ourselves about exactly what Trumpism means.…’

Via Boston Review

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