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The declining social status and self esteem of old men who embraced "American exceptionalism" are indeed a major part of the Trump tribe. However, there are other factions within the Republican Party who also support Trump...the evangelicals for one who really see Pence as their savior, even if they cannot fully embrace Trump. As Obama said, "they cling to their God and guns".
There are also economically deprived areas...coal country, parts of the deep south, the "What's the Matter with Kansas" voters, rural America, the hyper-patriots, and more who actually like Trump's messaging and style. He speaks their language, and as much as we cringe at listening to him (much like I cringed listening to Sarah Palin) his mannerisms are a positive to them. The repetition of lines matters to them...it helps his message sink in. "He's one of us".
It's a style that if you look back in history and find clips of Mussolini talking and inspiring a crowd, the facial expressions and gestures, well you might not be able to tell them apart. That's what is scary about the Trump phenomena. It probably will not die with this election.
Republicans created Trump, and when I say that, I am especially focusing on the oligarchs who control the Republican money machine. Family wealth like the Koch brothers, the Walton family, Sheldon Adelson, and many others have a big stake in the prospect of a Trump presidency, or someone like him in the future. They really like their presidents to be "not too smart" so they can control them....hence a Reagan or a Bush. For some of them Trump fits that stereotype even with all his warts. The oligarchs are especially skillful in knowing how to exploit a class of people to vote against their best economic interests.
Schmidt, excellent piece; this says it all
. The only thing is how are you ever going to transfer these people to think differently? I've never seen seen an country which has so many fanatics. The other point you missed is, what I've said so many times is : This is an "island
" and refuses to see the world as it is; only what we do counts
. Neither we accept anything else which other countries use and we re-invent because of the arrogance to have things our way. Like healthcare, infrastructure ( high speed rail); laughable elections which cost billions
etc. On top of that we still think we rule the world; but we don't
; ask China. So the "deplorables" are here to stay, but the "rest" should also be educated about the world around us, in order so that we fit into an changing world and be an example instead of an dictating bully.