Trump and the politics of resentment

Loved this Drum post.  I’m on vacation (again!) so just copying and pasting liberally:

Here’s a data point in favor of Krugman’s thesis: the rapturous response Trump gets whenever he says he has no time for political correctness. It was one of the biggest applause lines he got in Thursday’s debate. And while there are legitimate complaints to be had about some of the more extreme versions of language policing, for most people their real issue with it is that it forbids them from delivering casual slurs—that everyone knows are true—about blacks or women or Muslims or gays or whatever. They’ve been doing it all their lives, and they think it’s ridiculous that they have to watch themselves in public lest someone think they’re racists. Trump appeals to that sentiment.

I should add that this is entirely consistent with the notion that Trump’s strength comes fundamentally from his appeal to the conservative culture of grievance and resentment…

At a gut level, the answer is that they think “normal” American culture is under attack. Straight, white, Christian men used to run this country and did a pretty good job of it. But now every minority group in the country wants a piece of the pie, and they all blame “white supremacy culture” or “rape culture” or “heteronormative culture” for their problems. And what’s worse, no one is even allowed to tell the truth about what this really means. Mexicans come pouring across the border but you get in trouble for just plainly saying what everyone knows: most of them are criminals and should be sent back. Muslims blow up the World Trade Center, but woe betide anyone who makes the common sense observation that we should keep a close eye on mosques because most of them are terrorist breeding grounds. Blacks commit violent crimes at higher levels than whites, but we all have to pretend this is only because whites have been keeping them down for so long. And if you make a harmless joke about some woman having a great body? It’s a compliment! But the feminazis will be all over you like bees in a hive.

Oh, I hope there are some good surveys (not just basic polls) in the field before Trump’s bubble pops it is going to be so fun to analyze his support.

Speaking of being on vacation.  Apparently my 79-year old dad (who’s sofa I’m on that moment) has somehow become a Fox News viewer.  Argh??!!  I was subjected to five minutes of a Trump press conference last night before I got him to switch to SportsCenter.  Good grief– it’s like some parallel universe.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

3 Responses to Trump and the politics of resentment

  1. Jon K says:

    haha can’t stomach a little of that conservative media alternate universe? i learned long ago the only three shows I liked on fox news were special report at 6 (they actually make an attempt at being journalists and most of the time succeed) chris wallace on sundays and red eye at 3 in the morning (fox news answer to john stewart / colbert). All the other shows you get good stuff like Hannity comparing Trump to Reagan…

    • rgbact says:

      On the other side of the spectrum, I’ve stopped watching Fox due to them pushing Trumpmania. Yes, Hannity is becoming awful.

      • Steve Greene says:

        My dad had CNN on tonight and they just couldn’t stop Trump. I was trying to ignore it, but it was driving me crazy. Clearly, he drives ratings.

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