Donald Trump’s Populism Decoded: How a Billionaire Became the Voice of the “Little People”


Hark back to the original populists of the 1890s and they saw themselves exactly the same way, as champions of common Americans left behind by distant, powerful interests that were driving — and profiting from — economic dislocation and change.

These populists channeled the fears and frustrations of Southern and Midwestern farmers who were straining to keep up in an increasingly industrialized and national economy — and growing more and more resentful toward an emerging modern culture that no longer venerated the yeomen and instead celebrated the captains of industry.

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A Different Slant on the First Amendment?

On Monday June 19, in the case of Matal v. Tam, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled yet again that the First Amendment trumps political correctness.

This time, though, the circumstances were a bit unusual. Simon Tam, an Asian-American musician, founded the first all-Asian-American dance-rock band. The band chose to call itself the “Slants” as a way of thumbing its nose at anti-Asian stereotypes and prejudices—such as slant eyes.

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The Real Forgotten Americans

But the truth is this: These white working-class voters have never been forgotten, while those who truly are forgotten still don’t have a voice.

If Trump really wants to speak for forgotten Americans, he would travel to the Mississippi Delta and the rural Black Belt of the American South, where conditions are so wretched and dire that even a struggling Rust Belt factory town might seem like a bountiful paradise of opportunity and wealth.

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Managing Trump’s anger

NYT Rally
No wonder Trump is preemptively depicting himself not as a loser, but as the victim of a rigged election. You know he won’t go away quietly. Nor will his base, whose fire he has recklessly stoked. I can’t believe he’d give a gracious concession speech, a call to come together and support the one president our nation has. He’s more likely to summon a retributive movement – a fifth column of Trumpistas.

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Have We Normalized the Trumps?

Melania Trump
When Donald Trump launched his campaign over a year ago with racist and xenophobic language, a number of different commentators cautioned against the gradual “normalization” of Donald Trump and his viewpoints. There were valid concerns that continued media exposure would mitigate the shock factor, dampening the visceral reactions against the hateful rhetoric he spews.

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