February 24, 2016
UNPACKING TRUMP’S APPEAL:
His theme is pride — self esteem. I think the message is: Even if you’re poorly educated — especially if you are poorly educated — you are smart, and you are American, and you should feel great. All those other politicians look down on you, and they look down on the country. They insult it. They use the worst insults, like “racist.” They’d have you believe that it’s racist to say “Make America great again” and to want to preserve the benefits of America for Americans and to increase those selfishly guarded benefits. But it’s not something to be ashamed of, it’s being smart. And he’s very smart, and we — you, with me leading the way — “are going to be the smart people.”
An interesting blend of traditional rightish slogans (America is great) and leftish ones (we’re the smart people). And a natural response to a ruling class that doesn’t much care for the country it rules, and that has gotten uninterested in hiding the fact.
And entirely separately, a big-time journalist — you’d recognize his name — sent me these texts:
The well-educated have been flattered beyond their deserts for decades, so it’s only fair. And Trump is, in a weird way, a kind of egalitarian: He thinks he’s so great that everybody else is equal in comparison. His message is “I’m great and you can be too.” Sure, maybe not as great as him, but still really, really great.